Iowa fights off Rutgers in ranked matchup

IOWA CITY (AP) — Luka Garza had 28 points and 13 rebounds as No. 19 Iowa held on in the closing seconds to beat No. 24 Rutgers 85-80 on Wednesday night.

Connor McCaffery hit four free throws in the final 16 seconds, his only points of the night, to close out the win for the Hawkeyes (14-5, 5-3 Big Ten), who led by nine three times in the second half before Rutgers (14-5, 5-3) rallied.

The Scarlet Knights scored seven points in a 22-second span to take a 77-76 lead, but CJ Fredrick gave the Hawkeyes the lead back on a layup with 2:16 to go. Joe Wieskamp’s 3-pointer 37 seconds later put Iowa ahead 81-77.

Garza, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had his 11th double-double of the season.

Wieskamp had 18 points, Joe Toussaint scored 14 and Ryan Kriener had 11 for the Hawkeyes. Toussaint also had seven rebounds.

Ron Harper Jr. had a career-high 29 points for Rutgerås. His previous best was 27 against the Hawkeyes last season. Akwasi Yeboah had 17 points and Myles Johnson added 10.

The Scarlet Knights came in having won eight of their last nine games, but dropped into a four-way tie for third place.

It was the fourth consecutive win for the Hawkeyes, who moved into a tie for third place in the league with Rutgers, Maryland and Wisconsin. It was also Iowa’s eighth consecutive home win. The Hawkeyes are in the midst of a three-game homestand.

Iowa plays its third consecutive home game on Monday, facing Wisconsin.