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Recker's dramatics lift Iowa once again

©Associated Press
March 10, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS -- Luke Recker made a 15-foot shot on the run from the right corner as time expired Saturday -- his second straight winner -- to lift Iowa 62-60 over Indiana, his former team.

Recker was an Indiana Mr. Basketball who played for the Hoosiers but transferred after his sophomore season.

"I've never hit two like this in my career," said Recker, who won Friday's game against top-seeded Wisconsin with a 13-footer with 1.4 seconds left. "When it went in, I saw my teammates attack me. It was a great feeling."

As the Hawkeyes celebrated, officials huddled around a replay monitor to make sure Recker got the shot off in time. The ball appeared to leave Recker's hands with about .2 seconds left.

A local TV station later aired videotape that appeared to show the clock pausing for about half a second with 2.2 left. Indiana said it didn't plan to protest.

"If there was a problem, the game is over," spokesman Jeff Fanter said.

Recker finished with 17 points, including the Hawkeyes' last five, a tying 3-pointer and the winner, as Iowa advanced to the Big Ten title game for the second straight season.

For also the second straight season, Iowa entered the tournament believing it had to win the title to reach the NCAA Tournament. Iowa beat Indiana in the Big Ten final last season.

A.J. Moye appeared to give the Hoosiers control midway through the second half. He forced a turnover then hit a 3-pointer to break a 42-42 tie.

On the Hawkeyes' next possession, Moye's steal led to Jared Jeffries' layup. Moye followed by drawing a charge, leading to another Jeffries basket and a 49-42 lead.

Moye had a team-high 14 points.

The Hawkeyes rallied with a 9-1 run, tying it at 56 with 2:52 left. Indiana took a 60-57 lead on a Jeff Newton layup and Tom Coverdale's two free throws, but Recker's 3-pointer with 58 seconds left tied the score.

After missing several opportunities to retake the lead, Recker grabbed a loose ball and called timeout while falling out of bounds with 13.2 seconds left.

Then Recker took the ball near the 3-point line, dribbled past Jeffries, the Big Ten player of the year, and threw it in as he drove the baseline.

Recker, who was booed throughout by Indiana fans, said "there's that 5 percent of fans that, unfortunately, act in a classless manner that probably made this more enjoyable to win."

NO. 21 OHIO STATE 94, NO. 10 ILLINOIS 88: Brian Brown scored a career-high 27 and Brent Darby 23 for the Buckeyes. Darby went 5-for-6 and scored 13 in the second half to help the Buckeyes reach their first Big Ten tournament final.

Zach Williams had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Boban Savovic added 11 points and five assists for Ohio State.

Buckeyes coach Jim O'Brien, who won his 100th game at Ohio State, credited Williams for making the most of his opportunities.

"He has the heart of a lion," O'Brien said. "He has the tough task of guarding people that are bigger than he is. Those are always the guys he has to guard, and he never flinches when we talk about what we have to do.

"He played a man's game underneath the basket."

Darby's layup three minutes into the second half broke a 49-49 tie, and he followed with a jumper and 3-pointer to make it 56-49.

Frank Williams hit a 3 from the top of the key to tie it at 65, but Brown answered with two free throws and Savovic made a 3 to give Ohio State a lead it did not relinquish.

Ohio State took a 10-point lead with five minutes left, but a 3-pointer by Brian Cook and baskets by Robert Archibald and Sean Harrington cut it to 85-83.

Brown made a layup, and Darby hit two free throws for a six-point lead.

Illinois cut it to 91-88 with 23.4 seconds left on Williams' layup, but Ohio State sealed it with free throws.

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