IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team earned its fourth straight conference victory with an 81-67 win over Maryland on Sunday on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa now owns a winning 4-3 record in Big Ten play and improves to 12-6 on the season.
The Hawkeyes took the lead after two minutes of game action and never looked back. Junior Tony Perkins posted 15 points on 7-of-9 (.778) shooting in the first 20 minutes, and Iowa headed into halftime with a 43-33 advantage.
Maryland started the second half with an 8-0 stretch to bring the game to within two points, but Perkins broke the run on a free throw line jumper followed by a layup moments later to extend the Hawkeye lead back to six.
Junior Kris Murray scored 17 of his 19 total points in the second half to help keep Iowa in the driver’s seat. Murray hit a jumper to put the Hawkeyes up, 71-61, with just under five minutes to play, then slammed a turnaround dunk below the basket on the next possession; Iowa would lead by double digits the rest of the way.
— Iowa Men’s Basketball (@IowaHoops) January 15, 2023
Perkins finished as the game’s leading scorer with a career-best 22 points on 10-of-13 (77 percent) scoring form the floor. Perkins also posted a career-best two blocks to go along with four rebounds, three assists and one steal.
“That was my goal, to come in like that today,” says Perkins. “I haven’t been hitting a lot of shots, so I had to sit out. Make moves, get to the rim, and do what I can do best. Hit pullups, just play my game, and stop thinking a lot.”
Graduate student Connor McCaffery and sophomore Payton Sandfort each hauled in 12 points. McCaffery played all 40 minutes against the Terrapins, while Sandfort logged only 19 minutes due to foul trouble.
McCaffery finished 4-of-5 from the floor with a pair of triples, while Sandfort was good for 5-of-7 shooting two scores of his own from behind the arc. Sandfort hauled in seven rebounds, a team high against Maryland.
Iowa won the battle on the glass, 30-27, and shot 60 percent (33-of-55) from the floor. The Hawkeyes posted a 15-0 margin in fastbreak scoring and scored at a 62 percent clip for the game.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“I thought [Iowa’s guards] really fought in that stretch. I think we had five guards out there [during the first half]. They play four, typically. You have to react to all the different things they do defensively, so it is good to have guards out there. You can switch. They are going to be in a 2-3 zone, then it goes to man. They go to a 2-2-1, and then they come and face guard. They trap you at the 10-second line. So, the more guards you have out there the better off you are against that stuff.
It is the other end, defense and rebounding, where it is nice to have another bigger guy. Our guys outrebounded them, and they really fought on the glass. You look at the number of guys that have multiple rebounds. Payton [Sandfort] had seven and there were a bunch of guys with four. So, that’s what you need…
This was a good game for Tony [Perkins]. There was more space for him. He has an aggressive mindset, and that’s what you want. So, if they are switching there is more space. If they are pressing, there is more space. He just went after it and did a great job finishing. Hit his pullup jumper.
Just really proud of him with that mindset. Coming down the stretch the other night, I went with the other group, the group that was cooking, and Tony and Ahron [Ulis] didn’t really get back in. I said look, you are our guys, just get ready for the next one. It was one of those games. Those guys played great. Be ready to step up. They did, both of them. I thought Ahron was terrific.”
- Iowa won its fourth straight game (Indiana, Rutgers, Michigan, Maryland).
- Four Hawkeyes scored in double figures: Tony Perkins (22), Kris Murray (19), Payton Sandfort (12), Connor McCaffery (12).
- Tony Perkins had career highs in points (22) and blocks (2).
- All-America candidate Kris Murray netted 17 pf his 19 points in the second half.
- Payton Sandfort netted nine of his 12 points in the first half, reaching double figures for the fourth straight contest.
- In addition to his 12 points, Connor McCaffery tied a personal-best with three steals (all in the first half).
- Josh Dix was credited with a personal-best five assists for the second straight game (Michigan).
- Nine of Iowa’s 12 victories have come by double figures.
- The 81 points Iowa scored ties Michigan for the most scored against the Terrapins in conference play.
- Tonight was the only regular season meeting between Iowa and Maryland.
- Juniors Patrick McCaffery and Josh Ogundele did not play in today’s game for Iowa.
Iowa (12-6, 4-3) remains home Wednesday, hosting Northwestern (12-5, 3-3). Tipoff is scheduled for 8:07 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Tickets are available for purchase at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.