Iowa Beats Northwestern, 86-70

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Northwestern, 86-70, on Tuesday night on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa improves to 14-8 on the season and a winning 6-5 record in Big Ten play. The Hawkeyes celebrated the life and legacy of Chris Street throughout the evening.

Northwestern jumped out to an early lead, but a coast-to-coast layup from freshman Josh Dix tied things up with eight minutes remaining in the first half. The Wildcats would regain the advantage, however, and a step-back 3-pointer would extend the Northwestern lead by nine points with 3:30 left before the break.

Junior Kris Murray immediately answered with a three of his own on the ensuing possession, sparking a comeback that ended with a Payton Sandfort 3-pointer to tie things up at 39 each heading into halftime.

The second half proved to be a back-and-forth battle, until fifth-year Filip Rebraca helped force some distance with eight straight Hawkeye points starting at just under the seven-minute mark. The sequence included a forceful dunk down low and a driving transition layup to give Iowa its first double-digit lead of the game.

The Wildcats responded with a pull-up jumper, but Sandfort answered with a six-point possession following an and-one opportunity on a 3-pointer and an ensuing technical foul assessed to the Northwestern bench, putting Iowa up, 79-65.

The Hawkeyes broke things open from there, as another Sandfort triple put Iowa up 16 with just over two minutes left in regulation.

Rebraca finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and a block to secure his ninth double-double of the year, a team best. He was an efficient 9-of-13 (69 percent) from the floor while leading the Hawkeyes to a, 33-24, rebounding advantage.

Sandfort also posted 20 points, shooting a lights-out 5-of-7 from behind the arc. He notched five assists and four rebounds en route to the fifth 20-point performance of his career.

Five Hawkeyes scored double-digits, with Murray finishing next for Iowa with 16 points and eight rebounds. Junior Tony Perkins had 12 points, while graduate student Connor McCaffery scored 11 points including a pair of triples.

Iowa shot 56 percent (29-of-52) from the floor and 10-of-21 (48 percent) from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes were 82 percent (18-of-22) from the charity stripe and registered 17 assists on 29 field goals.

“The biggest thing was that we got our turnovers under control. Eight turnovers is too many in the first half. They got some fast break opportunities off of that. But our defense in the second half, and our ability to get out and run as a result, was big. Making sure we come down and get a good shot, you know, they are very aggressive defensively. They do a lot of switching the hard hedge. You have to be able to adjust to that. Keep your dribble, drive the ball, play in traffic. Our guys did that…

I mean, we scored 47 [in the second half]… We moved it. We shared it. We got into the bonus relatively early. We didn’t turn it over. I think it was a lot of guys that had to go ahead and make plays, more so than anything we were drawing up. It was just guys making plays, and I think they were comfortable doing that and I want them to be comfortable doing that…

The thing about Peyton [Sandfort] is he moves so well without the ball. You know, he’s easy to find. Tony [Perkins] is pretty good, too, in that area. But, you know, that’s what an unselfish team does.”


  • Five Hawkeyes scored in double figures for the third time this season and first time since Iowa’s win over Indiana on Jan. 5.
  • Iowa has won 16 of the last 19 meetings with Northwestern, including winning nine straight.
  • Filip Rebraca and Payton Sandfort netted 20 points each.
  • Rebraca also totaled 10 rebounds and four assists. He has netted 15+ in eight of the last 12 games and 20+ for the fourth time this season. Rebraca has posted a double-double a team-best nine times.
  • Sandfort scored in double figures for the fifth time in eight contests. Sandfort had his second 4-point play in six games with 3:36 left in the second half. The sophomore also dished out a career-best five assists.
  • The Hawkeyes won their 11th home game of the season (11-2).
  • The Hawkeyes made 10 3-pointers, making 10+ triples for the fifth time in seven games. Iowa improved to 9-1 when making nine or more 3-pointers in a game this season.

Iowa (14-8, 6-5) will host Illinois (16-6, 7-4) on Tuesday in the only regular season meeting between the two teams. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Saturday’s game is sold out.