SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota – A career-best 35 points scoring from sophomore Keegan Murray helped lift the University of Iowa men’s basketball team past Utah State, 94-75, on Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Murray scored 25 first-half points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 18 consecutive Iowa points over a six-minute stretch. Though the lead changed 14 times in the opening period, the Hawkeyes led 51-43 at the break and did not trail in the final 27 minutes of the game.
Murray finished with 35 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist on the evening to help seal the 30-point rout for the Hawkeyes. He added two 3-pointers to 13-of-17 shooting from the field and a 7-of-8 total from the free throw line.
Sophomore Kris Murray was Iowa’s next leading scorer, matching a career-best with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, including three 3-pointers. Redshirt sophomore Patrick McCaffery (12 points) and sixth-year senior Jordan Bohannon (11 points) joined the Murray twins as Iowa’s four double digit scorers on the night.
Iowa was strong on both sides of the ball, forcing 11 steals and four blocks for 18 points off turnovers at the sold-out neutral site game. The Hawkeyes outscored the Aggies 20-2 on fastbreaks and 48-28 in paint points; they also won the rebounding battle, 35-23, while shooting 55 percent from the floor. The Hawkeye advantage down low and in transition also contributed to eight dunks on the evening.
QUOTING COACH MCCAFFERY
“The potential of this team is that we have multiple guys who can be effective, and some of them in different ways. (The Murray brothers) were both really good tonight. So were a number of other players. (Joe) Toussaint was really good early on, (Ahron) Ulis was really good in the second half, Patrick (McCaffery) was terrific, Connor (McCaffery) was really good in the role that he plays. I put him in the last possession of the first half defensively and we got a huge defensive stop. Pretty much everybody I put in, Tony Perkins didn’t score bout his activity defensively was really impactful.
“We had one stretch where we got some steals, some pokes, some riles, Patrick’s dunk, and we had some opportunities in transition to find people. You look at Keegan Murray, he drew 10 fouls. That is an incredible stat when you think about it… he is playing at a really a high level, and feeling better.”
- Keegan Murray, who ranks second in the nation in points per game, led the team with a career-best 35 points tonight. Murray scored 18 straight Hawkeye points spanning 6:08 in the first half. He was six points from the arena record (41 by Stanley Umude of South Dakota on Dec. 12, 2020).
- Iowa has had a player score 30+ points in each of its last two games at the Sanford Pentagon; Keegan Murray netted 35 points tonight versus Utah State and Luka Garza tallied 30 against Gonzaga last December.
- Keegan’s brother, Kris Murray, matched a personal best with 17 points.
- Iowa had two scoring runs of at least 10-0 tonight: 12-0 spanning halves and 10-0 later in the second half. The Hawkeyes have had scoring runs of 10-0 or more a combined 14 times in 11 games.
- Tonight was Iowa’s first game in nine days and fourth contest away from home in five games.
- Iowa improved to 3-1 all-time against Utah State.
Iowa returns home Tuesday, hosting Southeastern Louisiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.