Clutch late shooting gives Iowa win over No. 7 Kentucky
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) – Mike Henderson finished with 15 points and
made a clutch free throw down the stretch, leading 18th-ranked Iowa to a 67-63
win over No. 7 Kentucky in the semifinals at the Guardians Classic.
Greg Brunner paced the Hawkeyes (3-0) with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while
Adam Haluska recorded nine points and also sank huge free throws in the win.
Iowa will face No. 2 Texas in the final of this tourney on Thursday night.
Rekalin Sims poured in a game-high 22 points for Kentucky (2-1), which blew an
early lead and will face West Virginia in the consolation game. Bobby Perry
buried a big three-pointer towards the end and finished with 12 points.
Brunner’s basket staked Iowa to a 38-34 lead minutes into the second half. The
Wildcats later pulled within 42-41 on Ramel Bradley’s jumper and the guard was
fouled on the play. However, Bradley couldn’t hit the game-tying free throw.
Bradley later redeemed his errant free throw try with a three-pointer from the
left wing, giving Kentucky a 46-44 edge with less than 11 minutes to play.
It remained tight the rest of the way, as Brunner’s three-point play with
about four minutes remaining gave Iowa a 59-56 lead. Bradley later nailed two
foul shots to pull Kentucky within one, but Henderson’s basket made it 61-58.
“I thought Mike Henderson was awfully good all night long,” Iowa coach Steve
Alford said. “I thought tonight we really defended.”
Perry’s three-pointer then tied the game at 61-61 before Haluska buried 1-of-2
foul shots for a 62-61 Iowa lead with 40.7 seconds remaining. Jeff Horner was
sent to the line seconds later and extended the lead to 64-61.
Kentucky then turned the ball over and Henderson made 1-of-2 from the charity
stripe with 11 seconds remaining for a four-point edge. A quick basket by the
Wildcats made it 65-63 with 1.4 seconds to go, but Haluska sealed the win with
two more free throws.
The Hawkeyes headed to the locker room with a slim 34-31 edge. Iowa was led by
Henderson’s eight points at halftime, while Sims recorded 14 for Kentucky.
Texas defeated West Virginia 76-75 in the other semifinal…Iowa shot just 38
percent from the floor and made 17-of-23 free throws…Sims connected on 4-
of-6 three-point attempts…Kentucky guard Rajon Rando posted just five
points, but was a lion on the boards with 19…UK made 33 percent of its shots
and sank 14-of-21 from the stripe.