Hawkeyes Win, 76-65, at Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team picked up its second straight Big Ten victory with a, 76-65, win over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon at Jersey Mike’s Arena. The Hawkeyes improve to 2-3 in conference play and 10-6 on the season.

Iowa jumped out to an 8-0 start and carried a 12-point lead into halftime. The Hawkeyes never relinquished the lead, becoming the first visiting team to lead wire-to-wire and win at Rutgers in the past five seasons.

A 3-pointer from junior Kris Murray gave Iowa its largest advantage of the night at 18 points with 15:41 remaining in the second half. The Scarlet Knights responded with a, 14-1, scoring run over the ensuing seven minutes, however, to cut the score to 55-50 with under nine minutes remaining.

Then sophomore Payton Sandfort stepped up, drilling three 3-pointers for the next three Hawkeye scores as part of 14 the rest of the way in the second half.

Sandfort finished with a game-high 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor and a career-high 4-of-5 from behind the arc. He also finished 6-of-7 from the free throw line with five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal.

“I respect [Rutgers’ Clifford Omoruyi] a lot… He is very physical, very athletic,” says Sandfort. “But, I trust my game. I am confident. I can attack anyone. It doesn’t matter who matches up in front of me. I feel like I did that.”

Fifth-year Filip Rebraca posted a stellar stat line of his own with 16 points, 12 rebounds (5 offensive), three blocks and a pair of assists. Rebraca has a team-high six double-doubles for the season.

Murray posted with 17 points and seven rebounds, finishing with three triples, two steals and a block.

Iowa finished 12-of-27 (44 percent) from 3-point range, with graduate student Connor McCaffery (2), junior Ahron Ulis (2) and junior Tony Perkins (1) each contributing crucial buckets from long range.

The Hawkeyes shot 45 percent (25-of-36) from the floor and narrowly won the battle on the boards, 38-36.

“I told the guys, I don’t know if I have coached a game where they executed the game plan any better. They were connected at both ends. We mixed defenses. We executed our stuff. We had one stretch where we had a double-digit lead with maybe ten minutes to go and we started running clock. That is not who we are. You can’t run clock with ten minutes to go. We were getting bad possessions at the end of the shot clock. Just come down and run our stuff. If we get under four [minutes remaining], then we can start milking it if we need to. Other than that, we just fought them. We fought them on the glass, and that is a hard team to outrebound. They are really big. We handled the press. They press a lot and in different ways… And they are physical, they’re big. Their wings are big, their posts are big. Boy did we fight. Rebraca was phenomenal. Kris [Murray], Connor [McCaffery], just keep going. Ahron Ulis, it is great to see him have a game like that. Payton Sandfort made every shot. We just kept going to him. I’ll tell you, we get him going, we are a different team.”


  • Iowa improved to 11-3 all-time against Rutgers, including a 5-2 record in Piscataway. The Hawkeyes have won five of the last six overall meetings against the Scarlet Knights.
  • Iowa notched its third win away from home this season (Seton Hall, Clemson, Rutgers).
  • The Hawkeyes became the first team to win and never trail at Rutgers over the last five seasons.
  • The Hawkeyes made 12 3-pointers today, their highest total in a game this season since sinking 12 versus No. 20 Iowa State on Dec. 8. Iowa improved to 6-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa has won two straight games after starting league play 0-3.
  • Payton Sandfort tallied a game-best 22 points off the bench, bolstered by making a game and season-best four 3-pointers (4-of-5). The 22 points are the most by Sandfort in a Big Ten game this season and two points shy of his career high (24, versus Southeast Missouri State).
  • Fifth-year senior Filip Rebraca registered his team-best sixth double-double of the season, scoring 16 points and pulling down a game-best 12 rebounds. Rebraca has had a double-double in three of Iowa’s last four games. Iowa is 4-1 when Rebraca posts a double-double this season.
  • All-America candidate Kris Murray scored 17 points and had seven rebounds, two steals and a block. Murray has scored 17+ points in each of his last four games since returning from injury.
  • Eight of Iowa’s 10 victories this season have come by double digits, including today.
  • Juniors Patrick McCaffery and Josh Ogundele did not play in today’s game for Iowa.

Iowa (10-6, 2-3) returns home for three straight home games beginning Thursday against Michigan (9-6, 3-1). Tipoff is slated for 6:01 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Tickets are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.