IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team improved to 2-0 on Friday night with a dominating, 112-71, win over North Carolina A&T on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa jumped out to a, 14-3, lead to open the game, but the Aggies battled back to within three points with under seven minutes to play in the first half. It was all Hawkeyes the rest of the way, as a steal and driving transition layup from redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery helped spark a, 17-2, Iowa scoring run to close out the first half.
Junior Kris Murray posted a steal and layup of his own to put the Hawkeyes up 16 points with 90 seconds to play in the period, and junior Tony Perkins ended the half in style with an inbound steal and short-range jumper to give Iowa a, 52-32, advantage at the break.
Iowa cruised to victory in the second half, finishing 52 percent (41-of-79) from the floor with 58 points in the paint and 11 threes.
Iowa’s first 78 points of the contest were scored by starters. Murray led the way, posting a game-best 22 points and eight rebounds through 23 minutes of play. McCaffery was close behind with 21 points, five rebounds and two assists on the night.
Other starters included Sandfort, Perkins and fifth-year Filip Rebraca. Sandfort racked up 17 points on 7-of-10 (.700) shooting from the field, including three triples. Sandfort also finished with five rebounds, three assists and a steal against the Aggies.
Rebraca scored 12 points with five rebounds, two blocks and two assists. The Hawkeye big was also 4-of-4 from the free throw line, improving to 7-of-7 from the stripe through two games this season. Perkins added six points and two rebounds while leading the game with six assists.
The Iowa bench finished with the team’s final 33 points of the contest. Junior Ahron Ulis, freshman Dasonte Bowen and junior Josh Ogundele led the charge with six points, each. Ogundele nabbed five rebounds through eight minutes of play.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“We didn’t do a real good job on the glass the whole beginning of the game. They outrebounded us in the first half. Give them credit, they came to play. They were physical. We had that one stretch where I thought we had pretty decent shots, but five or six possessions in a row we didn’t score. They hit some shots, they were running their stuff. I thought two big plays in the game were Patrick [McCaffery’s] steal and Tony [Perkins’] steal in the first half. They were big momentum plays for us.
[Patrick McCaffery] has been playing really well. It was great to see him be aggressive, get out and run. Guys were really looking for him. You know, you look at stats that jump out at you, 25 assists and four turnovers. We are sharing the ball, throwing it ahead and attacking it… That team is putting pressure on the ball. They had quickness. They had speed. They were putting heat on the dribbler, but I thought our running game was really good tonight. When we did get stops, in particular, we were able to get out and run and find people. Tony had six assists, no turns. Peyton [Sandfort], Ahron [Ulis], Connor [McCaffery], everybody is passing it well. Everybody had a positive assist-to-turnover ratio. A lot of guys are in double figures because we are sharing the ball.”
- Iowa’s 112 points are the most in a game since scoring 112 versus Northwestern on March 10, 2022.
- Four Hawkeye starters netted double figures: Kris Murray (22), Patrick McCaffery (21), Payton Sandfort (17), and Filip Rebraca (12).
- Patrick McCaffery’s 21 points are a new career high, besting his previous high of 19 versus Nebraska in 2021.
- Iowa committed just four turnovers, equaling the third fewest in a game by the Hawkeyes in the Fran McCaffery era and fewest since Nov. 29, 2021 at Virginia.
- Murray surpassed 20 points for the third time in his career.
- Payton Sandfort has made three 3-pointers in each of Iowa’s first two games.
- Tony Perkins dished out a game-best six assists. The junior guard has had 5+ assists in each of Iowa’s first two contests.
- Iowa has won 79 of its last 84 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
- Twelve Hawkeyes scored three points or more.
- Iowa had scoring runs of 16-0, 11-0 and 10-0 tonight. The 11-point scoring spurt closed the first half. The Hawkeyes scored 16 straight points after North Carolina A&T netted the first basket of the second half.
- Iowa improved to 2-0 all-time against North Carolina A&T.
Iowa returns to action Wednesday, Nov. 16, at Seton Hall in the Gavitt Games. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. (CT) at the Prudential Center in South Orange, New Jersey.