Iowa Downs North Dakota, 110-68, in Season Opener

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated North Dakota, 110-68, on Mediacom Court at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes won their 13th consecutive season opener and totaled the most points in a season-opener under head coach Fran McCaffery.

The Hawkeyes shot 8-of-16 from 3-point land in the first half to take control of the game. Iowa had 21 points off of 13 North Dakota turnovers. The Hawkeyes just had one first half turnover.

The second half was also dominated by the Hawkeyes. Iowa shot 21-of-34 (61.8%) from the field. The Hawkeyes shot 8-of-8 from the free throw line in the second half and outscored North Dakota, 54-36.

Sophomore Dasante Bowen set a career high in assists, dishing out five without committing a turnover.

Junior Payton Sandfort was the leading scorer, finishing the game with 21 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 7-of-13 from the field.

Freshman Owen Freeman wasted no time making an impact. The Illinois native was the leading scorer off the bench, finishing with 14.

Ben Krikke had a fantastic debut as a Hawkeye, totaling 18 points and six rebounds, while shooting 8-of-13 from the field.

Eleven of 14 players who entered the game scored and all five Iowa starters finished in double figures.

“We have a lot of weapons. We have a lot of different guys that can make plays. Whether it be off a rebound or out of our motion game. We can move guys around on our sets and create shot opportunities. The aggressiveness of the guys and their ability to do that is a game changer.”

“We just play from wherever we are. So, you can be a screener, a cutter, a driver, a 3-point shooter. I think when you practice flowing right into stuff it makes a lot of sense.”

“We are always going to have space, which allows you drive it and pass and cut. If everything is jammed up you can’t cut anywhere because there is nowhere to cut to. So we stay five-out and had five different guys make a three. That makes you hard to guard.”


  • Iowa scored 110 points – the most in a season opener under head coach Fran McCaffery.  The previous high was 106 points against Longwood in 2021.
    • Iowa’s 110 points are tied for the sixth-most under McCaffery.
    • The Hawkeyes scored 56 points in the first half, making 8-of-16 3-point field goals.
  • The Hawkeyes have won 13 consecutive regular season openers under McCaffery.
  • McCaffery now has 262 career victories as Iowa’s head coach, 10 wins from becoming the winningest coach in program history.
  • Iowa has won 84 of its last 90 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
  • The Hawkeyes committed just one turnover in the first half (on the first possession of the game) and seven for the contest.
  • Iowa had six players finish in double figures in the game with junior Payton Sandfort leading the way with 21 points and nine rebounds.  He made 7-of-13 field goal attempts and three 3-pointers.
    • Sandfort scored 10 of Iowa’s first 16 points and 13 of the first 21.  He had 15 points in the first half.
    • It is Sandfort’s eighth career 20-point game and his 11th career game with three or more 3-pointers.
  • Iowa’s four freshmen combined for 31 points in their official Hawkeye debuts. Owen Freeman had 14 points in 15 minutes.
  • The Hawkeyes had a 27-3 advantage in fastbreak points. Iowa scored 31 points off 19 UND turnovers.
  • Iowa had 23 assists on its 40 field goals. Harding tallied seven assists, while Bowen registered five. The 40 field goals are tied for the sixth-most under McCaffery.

The Hawkeyes host Alabama State on Nov. 1oth at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (CT) for the Veteran Appreciation Game.