Hawkeyes Overcome Michigan, 93-84, in Overtime

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team picked up its third straight Big Ten win with a, 93-84, overtime win against Michigan on Thursday night on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa improves to 3-3 in the conference and 11-6 on the season.

The Hawkeyes trailed Michigan for 34 minutes of game time, were down three points at halftime, and saw the deficit reach as high as 10 points in the second period prior to the comeback that forced overtime.

The Wolverines had answers for each Iowa run; the Hawkeyes saw a three-point gap swell back to seven points from 9:27 to 8:23 in the second half, and again watched a two-point margin at the four minute mark return to a seven-point Michigan lead with just over two minutes left to play.

The Wolverines finished with 14 3-pointers on the contest at 45 percent clip from behind the arc, with seven triples coming from Michigan’s Jett Howard on 13 attempts (54 percent).

Iowa’s final run, however, flipped the script. Sophomore Payton Sandfort drilled a trey off an assist from graduate student Connor McCaffery to bring the Hawkeyes to within two points with just over a minute to play.

Michigan converted two points on the other end, but with under 30 seconds to go and the clock ticking the ball again made its way to Sandfort. The Waukee, Iowa, native let heave a deep three from the top of the key; the ball went down, and so did Sandfort, who was sent to the line on a Wolverine foul with a chance to tie the game.

“I knew the shot clock was low, so I just kind of cut it and threw it up there and got my legs taken out,” said Sandfort. “We’ll take the points.”

Sandfort’s free throw was true, and an Iowa defensive stand sent the game to overtime.

The Hawkeye run wasn’t over; Sandfort hit a sideline jumper on the opening possession to give Iowa its first lead in over 15 minutes of game action, and junior Kris Murray went 1-of-2 from the free throw line to make the score, 82-79, with four minutes left in the overtime.

Another Iowa stop led to a Sandfort and-one putback on the other end, and the Hawkeyes were in the driver’s seat.

The largest Iowa lead was nine points with less than a minute to play in overtime, and two more Sandfort free throws made the final score, 93-84, to seal the comeback.

Murray was Iowa’s leading scorer with 27 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal through 45 minutes of play. Murray matched a career-high four 3-pointers on the way to his seventh 20-point scoring outing through 11 games played this season.

Sandfort finished with a career-high four triples of his own the way to a career-best 26 points against Michigan. He also hauled in seven rebounds and finished 4-of-4 from the free throw line with three assists and a steal, to boot. Sandfort posted 24 of his points after the halftime break.

“I was kind of mad at myself at halftime,” says Sandfort. “I wasn’t aggressive enough. I have been shooting it really well, and I turned down a couple semi-open ones early. In the second half, I just wanted to be aggressive and make plays. I am just really happy we got the win.”

Iowa combined for 12-of-30 (40 percent) 3-point shooting, matching a season-high from behind the arc last time out against Rutgers. Freshman Josh Dix drilled 3-of-5 on 3-point attempts, finishing with a pair of personal bests in points (10) and assists (5).

Fifth-year Filip Rebraca was good for his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 boards. The Hawkeye big also went 7-of-10 from the free throw line, including 3-of-4 in overtime.

The Hawkeyes won the rebounding battle, 40-37, including a 14-10 margin on the offensive glass. 42 of Iowa’s points came off the bench, compared to 12 Michigan bench points and 51 points from the Hawkeye starting five.

Iowa assisted on 18-of-32 field goals (56 percent).

HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“I thought, on a number of different levels, we really maintained our composure. We start the game, and Jett [Howard] is on fire. He is a handful. You have got him and Dickinson to deal with, but other guys are making shots, too. We hung in there, made a couple runs. Obviously, we got unbelievable play from our bench. Payton [Sandfort] and Josh Dix, obviously, but also Riley Mulvey. Happy to see him have some production and get some experience…

Sometimes when you get in foul trouble, and you sit and you come back in, you don’t have a good game like maybe if you had been in it the whole time. [Rebraca] did, and we needed him to. That one lineup, we kind of stuck with them. I thought they were clicking at both ends. You have size, you have physicality. Really, really proud of that group. We outrebounded them. They are a really good defensive team, and we only had six turnovers. So many people produced.”

HAWKEYE NOTABLES

  • The Hawkeyes rallied from a 10-point second-half deficit to win their third straight game. The Hawkeyes trailed by seven points with 2:18 remaining in regulation. Payton Sandfort scored Iowa’s final seven points of regulation (63 seconds), including a four-point play with 20 seconds remaining to force overtime.
  • Junior Kris Murray led Iowa with 27 points, reaching 20+ points a team-best seventh time this season. Murray equaled his career high in 3-pointers made (4).
  • Sophomore Payton Sandfort tallied 24 of his career-high 26 points in the second half and overtime, scoring 20+ points for the second straight game. Sandfort drained a career-high four 3-pointers for the second straight game (Rutgers).
  • Freshman Josh Dix netted personal bests in scoring (10) and assists (5).
  • Senior Filip Rebraca totaled 13 points and 12 rebounds to notch his team-best seventh double-double of the season and fourth in the last five Big Ten games.
  • Iowa matched its season high in 3-pointers made, sinking 12 for the second consecutive contest (Rutgers).
  • Iowa scored the first eight points of the overtime period.
  • Iowa improved to 7-0 this season when making nine or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa recorded its first overtime win since a 76-70 victory over Indiana on Feb. 22, 2019.
  • Five of the last 12 games against Michigan in Iowa City have been extended to overtime.
  • Tonight was the only regular season meeting between Iowa and Michigan.
  • Juniors Patrick McCaffery and Josh Ogundele did not play in tonight’s game for Iowa.

UP NEXT
Iowa (11-6, 3-3) remains home Sunday, hosting Maryland (11-5, 2-3). Tipoff is scheduled for 3:31 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.