IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team overcame Michigan State, 112-106, in overtime on Saturday afternoon in front of a sold-out crowd on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Iowa improves to 10-8 in Big Ten Conference play and 18-11 on the season.
The Hawkeyes completed an 11-point comeback in the final 55 seconds of action to force overtime. Iowa is the fourth Division I team ever to win after trailing by eleven or more points with less than a minute left in regulation.
Sophomore Payton Sandfort contributed three of six Iowa buckets from long range in the first half as the Hawkeyes and Spartans headed into the locker room even at 42-42.
The Spartan offense nearly proved too much to handle in regulation, shooting what would have been season-high percentages against the Iowa defense from the floor (63 percent) and 3-point range (85 percent, 11-of-13).
A Hawkeye run in the final minute of play flipped the script, however, sparked by a triple from graduate student Connor McCaffery to bring the margin down to seven with 39 seconds left on the clock.
Iowa forced a quick stop, and then junior Kris Murray hit another 3-pointer to make the score 96-92 with just over 30 seconds left.
Redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery cashed in yet another trey to cut the Spartan advantage down to three points, and moments later Connor McCaffery converted once more from deep to make it a two-point game with 10 seconds left on the clock.
Michigan State missed two free throws in the final minute despite an otherwise strong performance at the charity stripe, shooting 31-of-36 (86 percent) at the line on Saturday.
The final miss came on the back end of a bonus look following an immediate Hawkeye foul. Sandfort hauled in the rebound before rushing down the court to drill a pull-up triple with three seconds remaining, forcing overtime at 101-101.
“If they get one of those rebounds, the game is over,” says Sandfort. “We had to execute perfectly… We just had to keep fighting, believe. It was an incredible effort.”
Clutch gene 🧬@payton_20_ x #Hawkeyes
— Iowa Men’s Basketball (@IowaHoops) February 25, 2023
The Hawkeye defense forced 1-of-5 field goal shooting by Michigan State in overtime, with the Spartans also tacking on three free throws. Iowa went 5-of-6 from the line in the extra period and converted three decisive scores down low, including a Murray layup and two put-backs from junior Tony Perkins.
Bouncing back from two of their three lowest scoring outputs of the season, the Hawkeyes finished their explosive day on offense with five players hitting double figures.
Murray led Iowa with 26 points, also adding eight rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block to his stat line. Perkins was close behind with 24 points on 9-of-12 (75 percent) scoring from the floor, counting 4-of-5 (80 percent) from 3-point land, a personal best. Perkins’ nine rebounds led the Hawkeyes, while his six assists and three steals tied for team-highs against the Spartans.
B1G bucket ‼️@Saucy___T x #Hawkeyes
— Iowa Men’s Basketball (@IowaHoops) February 25, 2023
Sandfort poured on a career-best 6-of-10 (60 percent) shooting from deep en route to 22 points on the contest. Fifth-year Filip Rebraca and Connor McCaffery round out Iowa’s scoring leaders with 18 and 10 points apiece; McCaffery’s six assists tied for a team-best, while the Iowa big was close behind with five assists.
The Hawkeyes finished 17-of-36 (47 percent) from 3-point range, as well as 38-of-75 (51 percent) overall. Those 17 from behind the arc are a new season-best, six of which came in the last 90 seconds of play.
Iowa won, 34-30, on the glass, including 15-4 advantage on the offensive boards. That translated to a 29-4 advantage in second-chance scoring for the Hawkeyes. Complimenting the strong rebounding performance was 25 assists on 38 field goals; Iowa also won the turnover margin, 15-9.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“It was interesting, because I have coached a lot of games, and I have been in this situation before. You get a sense of, are they still fighting? Or is it me that is trying to convince them to keep fighting? I didn’t have to convince them. They were never out of it. In their minds, they were never out of it. That is the best feeling as a coach, because then you can just concentrate on what you might want to run.
We ran some late-game packages. None of it worked to perfection; it usually doesn’t. A lot of coaches don’t like to admit that. What it does is it softens the defense enough so that the players can go make plays. As I have said many times, my number one responsibility as a coach is not to micromanage the game. It is to make sure our guys are the best version of themselves so they can go make a play. They just kept making plays, defensively and offensively. Intelligent fouls quickly, good traps, steal, find shooters, understand the general conception of what we are trying to do offensively and then play from there. Tony [Perkins] had a couple big tips and put-backs.
You have got to give them credit. They came in and played hard. They scored 100 points, shot an incredible percentage. They were making tough pullups and moving the ball. We just had to keep coming, and we did.”
- Iowa trailed by 11 points with 55 seconds remaining in regulation and ultimately won in overtime. Iowa is the fourth team to ever win when down 11+ with less than one minute remaining. Texas A&M (down 12 with 33 seconds left vs. UNI in 2016), UNLV (down 11 with 59 seconds left vs. SDSU in 2005), Nevada (down 11 with 59 seconds left vs. New Mexico in 2017).
- Iowa extended its home win streak to seven and won its 14th home contest of the season. The Hawkeyes have won 14+ home games each of the last five years.
- The Hawkeyes have now won 10 or more Big Ten regular season games eight of the last nine years.
- Iowa has won its last three home games against Michigan State, its longest win streak against the Spartans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena since 1991-93.
- Today’s contest (218 points) was the highest scoring game in series history, dating back to 1937, besting a 200 combined point game in East Lansing on Feb. 26, 1972 (102-98 Iowa win).
- Iowa made five of its last six 3-point attempts, including four straight, over the last 39 seconds to force overtime.
- Iowa improved to 2-1 in overtime this season.
- Iowa’s 112 points are the most by the Hawkeyes in the 136-game series history with Michigan State and equal a season high (112 versus North Carolina A&T on Nov. 11).
- Kris Murray scored a team-best 26 points, reaching 20+ points a team-best 13 times this season. Murray also had eight rebounds and three steals.
- Payton Sandfort tallied 22 points, draining a personal-best six 3-pointers made (6-of-10), including the game-tying triple with three seconds remaining to force overtime.
- Filip Rebraca netted 18 points, marking the 11th time in the last 19 games that he scored 15+ points. He reached double figures in scoring 9:34 into the game, making his first five field goal attempts. Rebraca was credited with five assists, his highest total against a Big Ten opponent the last two seasons.
- Tony Perkins made a career-high four 3-pointers. He finished the contest with 24 points, a season-high nine rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
- Iowa made a season-high 17 3-pointers made. The 17 triples are the most the Spartans have allowed this season. Today marked the fourth time in the five home games the Hawkeyes made 10+ triples.
- The Hawkeyes improved to 11-1 when making nine or more 3-pointers this season.
- Iowa scored 59 second-half points, its second highest second half total of the season (60 vs. North Carolina A&T).
- Today’s game featured 13 lead changes, the same number of lead changes in the Iowa-Michigan State in East Lansing on Jan. 26, 2023.
Iowa (18-11, 10-8) returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at Indiana. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT) at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Indiana.