IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team opened the regular season with a, 89-58, victory over Bethune-Cookman on Monday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. 14 of 15 players on the Iowa roster checked into the game against the Wildcats.
Junior Tony Perkins led the way offensively, connecting on 7-of-9 (.778) shots from the field including 2-of-2 from 3-point range. Perkins finished with five assists, two rebounds and a steal in 20 minutes of action.
Junior Kris Murray was close behind, posting a team-best 35 +/- with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, one block and one steal against the Wildcats.
Fifth-year Filip Rebraca, redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery and sophomore Payton Sandfort were also among the five Hawkeyes to score double digits on Monday.
Rebraca posted the 20th double-double of collegiate career and his second at Iowa, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds on the contest. Sandfort posted 13 points on the night while McCaffery finished with 12 points.
Graduate student Connor McCaffery scored six points on a pair of 3-pointers. Including last week’s exhibition against Truman State Connor McCaffery is 6-of-8 (.750) from behind the arc.
The Hawkeyes dominated wire-to-wire, leading for 38.5 minutes of game time posting 44 points in the paint, a 44-33 advantage on the glass and six dunks on the night. Iowa shot 34-of-67 (.507) from the floor, 11-of-33 (.333) from long range and scored at a clip of 1.459 points per possession.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“Tony Perkins’ has aggressiveness. He has skills. He is shooting the ball outside. He is driving the ball. He always had a pull-up game. He is getting to the rim. We put the ball in his hands a little bit more, so now he has more space, and he is even more effective. Five assists and one turnover, that is the thing that impressed me the most. When you put him at the point, you are going to have to give it up, and he does. But he did that from the first day he got here. He said, yeah, he was a scorer, he was a scoring guard, but you can put the ball in his hands. He will just get better…
[Filip Rebraca] has been like that from day one, starting in December, every day. He is aggressive offensively, he is aggressive in his ball-screen defense, he is aggressive in post defense. He is aggressive on the glass and running the floor. He is taking the ball, dribbling it, driving it and finishing the play, posting hard. Quite frankly, all the stuff he did when he was at North Dakota. He was dominant. For us he was really good. His role was different. We got to keep him here, and now he has taken charge. That’s what I wanted him to do. It was always in there, and now you’re seeing it.”
- Five Hawkeyes netted double figures: Tony Perkins (16), Kris Murray (14), Payton Sandfort (13), Patrick McCaffery (12), and Filip Rebraca (11).
- Senior Filip Rebraca posted his 20th career double-double (11 points, 10 rebounds). The 10 rebounds along with two blocked shots were game highs.
- The Hawkeyes have won their last 12 season openers, dating back to the 2011-12 season.
- Iowa has won 78 of its last 83 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
- Iowa had two 11-0 runs tonight, one in the first half and one to start the second half.
- Iowa improved to 92-3 when holding opponents to fewer than 61 points the last 13 seasons.
- Tonight was the first ever meeting between Iowa and Bethune-Cookman.
Iowa remains home on Friday hosting North Carolina A&T. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Tickets are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.