IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team capitalized on ball movement and forced turnovers to rout Kansas City, 89-57, Friday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Sophomore Keegan Murray notched a career high for the second straight game, scoring 25 points (in 22 minutes), making 9-of-15 field goals and all six free throws. Senior Jordan Bohannon scored 13 with a pair of 3s and sophomore Patrick McCaffery added 10.
Filip Rebraca narrowly missed double figures, finishing with nine points and a team-and-game-high 13 rebounds.
The Hawkeyes, who shot 52.3 percent from the field in the game, came out blazing in the first three minutes of the contest, jumping out to a 10-2 lead, but the ‘Roos hung around.
Iowa found itself in a battle late in the first half. Kansas City combatted its early shooting struggles by shooting 44 percent from behind the 3-point line. The ‘Roos cut their deficit to four at 27-23 before Iowa closed out the half with a 10-0 run.
Junior Joe Toussaint propelled the run with a stretch of impressive play. The point guard from the Bronx hit a tough turn-around jump shot in the paint, then connected with Bohannon on a back-door pass for a layup.
The Hawkeyes headed to the locker room with a 37-23.
Iowa began the second 20 minutes with three easy buckets in the paint and a triple by Keegan Murray. A hectic almost-turnover that formed a Kansas City 10-second violation brought the contest to a media time-out with Iowa leading 46-28.
Iowa sparked a 9-0 run midway through the second half to extend the score 57-33. The Hawkeyes did so with more forced turnovers and fast-break points, including two Keegan Murray slams and another Bohannon 3 and sophomore Ahron Ulis three-point-play pushed Iowa’s lead to 30 at the 10-minute mark.
The Hawkeyes completed the game with 18 assists with Toussaint (6) and Connor McCaffery (3) accounting for half of the helpers.
Defensively, Iowa forced 17 Kansas City turnovers and limited the ‘Roos to 41.1 percent shooting. Anderson Kopp was the only KC player in double figures with 11 points.
QUOTING COACH MCCAFFERY
“I thought our first group, defensively, really set the tone. We scored the ball, but when you get up 20 that quickly, it’s usually a reflection of your defense. I was impressed with that group defensively.
“Keegan has been pretty consistent. Shooting it, driving it, protecting the rim in traffic, rebounds. Defensively, I think he has been really good. He had five blocks. He uses his length well. He does it all with seemingly no fanfare, no emotion. He’s concentrating out there. He is thinking. Sometimes I have to tell him to just relax and go hoop, because that is when he is at his best.”
- Iowa has won 11 straight season openers, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
- Sophomore forward Keegan Murray posted career bests in scoring (24) and 3-pointers made (3) tonight. He reached double figures in the first seven minutes of the game.
- Jordan Bohannon made six 3-pointers. He has made 370 triples; he is four shy of the Big Ten all-time record held by Ohio State’s Jon Diebler (2008-11).
- Four different Hawkeyes made multiple 3-pointers. Collectively, Iowa made 15 triples tonight. The Hawkeyes made five of their first six attempts from distance.
- Iowa scored the first nine points of the game and 23 of the first 26 points.
- The Hawkeyes had three scoring runs of 10-0 or more (10, 11, and 14).
- Iowa outscored Longwood, 22-2, in fast break points.
- Iowa has won 71 of its last 76 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
Iowa (1-0) returns to action Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, hosting Kansas City (0-1) at 7:01 p.m. (CT). Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com.