PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team fell to Rutgers, 48-46, on Wednesday night in a defensive battle at Jersey Mike’s Arena.
Iowa took a three point lead into halftime and maintained that edge until a pair of free throws from Rutgers’ Geo Baker tied the game at 38 with 9:43 left to play.
The lead would change hands six times from there, and a late Iowa steal and timeout by sophomore Kris Murray would set up Patrick McCaffery for a tying layup with 27 seconds left. Iowa’s Keegan Murray was called for a foul with two seconds remaining, sending Ron Harper, Jr., to the line for the double bonus. Harper hit both free throws to give the Scarlet Knights the two point lead.
With two seconds remaining, Iowa got a look at the game-winner with a Connor McCaffery-to-Keegan pass, but Murray’s 3-point attempt came up short, sending Rutgers to the victory.
Keegan Murray posted a double-double in the game, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Senior Filip Rebraca had eight points and 10 rebounds, while junior Joe Toussaint posted eight points, five rebounds, and five assists. Redshirt sophomore Patrick McCaffery netted 11 points, three rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal in the contest.
The Hawkeye defense blocked five shots and grabbed eight steals, holding Rutgers to 24 points in each half of play. The Scarlet Knights won the rebounding battle, 49-38, in the defensive slugfest.
QUOTING COACH MCCAFFERY
“Both teams played hard. (Rutgers head coach Steve Pikiell’s) team played hard. They make it hard for you to score. I thought we played really good defense. They got us pretty good in the second half on the glass. That’s a credit to them. We didn’t rebound as well as we should have, but we were right there. You want to go compete on the road against a really good team and have a chance.”
- Tonight’s setback was just Iowa’s second in eight games, dating back to Dec. 18, 2021.
- The last three games between Iowa and Rutgers played at Jersey Mike’s Arena have each been decided by two points (2019, 2021, and 2022).
- Tonight was the lowest scoring contest in the 12 games between Iowa and Rutgers, dating back to 1989. The previous low was 128 combined points in an 81-47 Hawkeye win on Feb. 19, 2015 in Iowa City.
- The nation’s leading scorer, Keegan Murray registered his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He has posted double-doubles in four of the last seven games, including two straight. Murray’s 13 rebounds are the second most the sophomore has grabbed in a single game this season (21 versus N.C. Central on Nov. 16).
- Senior Filip Rebraca totaled eight points and 10 rebounds. The forward has reached double-digit rebounds three times this season, including the last two outings.
- Tonight was the only regular season game between Rutgers and Iowa.
- Iowa’s starting five accounted for all 46 points. Tonight marked the first time this season a Hawkeye reserve did not score.
Iowa (13-5, 3-4) returns to action on Saturday against Penn State (8-7, 3-4). Tipoff is scheduled for 3:31 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa. The game is sold out.