SAN DIEGO – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team fell to Oklahoma,79-67, on Thursday afternoon in the opening game of the Rady Children’s Invitational. The Hawkeyes will face either Seton Hall or USC on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT).
Freshman Owen Freeman was a highlight for Iowa’s offense. The Moline, Illinois, native showed off a variety of post moves to score a team-high 13 points. He also tied for the team high with seven rebounds.
Junior Payton Sandfort was Iowa’s second-leading scorer, finishing with 12 points and seven rebounds and graduate Ben Krikke scored 11.
The Hawkeyes struggled offensively, making 24-of-67 field goal attempts, including just 4-of-23 from 3-point range. Iowa’s first 3-pointer came from freshman Brock Harding at the 12:44 mark of the second half. Harding made a team-high two 3-pointers.
Iowa struggled out of the gates, making 10-of-34 field goals and going 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half. Oklahoma led 36-24 at the break.
Despite a Hawkeye push in the second half, Iowa was unable to cut into the Oklahoma lead. The Sooners made just 4-of-20 3-point field goals themselves, but Oklahoma made 48.4 percent of its overall field goal attempts, making 31-of-64 attempts.
The Sooners’ Jalon Moore led a group of four players in double digits, scoring a game-high 18 points.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“We had some really good shots. I do think we forced a couple. For the most part, I thought that we had good looks at it. It’s rare that we are going to be 1-of-20 at some point from three. We recognize one that (Oklahoma) is a really good rebounding team and two, we were not making our shots at a percentage we normally do. So, we get 18 offensive rebounds, we out-rebounded them, so that gave us a chance. It was clearly a struggle offensively all day long.”
“I thought all the young guys played well. I thought Dix was really good. Pryce was good. Pryce missed a couple in the first half that he would like to have back. It was good to see him make that one there at the end. I thought those guys, collectively were good defensively. They battled on the glass, they executed our stuff, and they gave us a big lift in both halves.”
- Three Hawkeyes landed in double figures – Owen Freeman (13), Payton Sandfort (12) and Ben Krikke (11)
- Freeman led the team, making 5-of-10 field goals for his second career game in double figures. He also had a career-high seven rebounds.
- The 13 points are the most by a Hawkeye freshman since the 2021-22 season. (Payton Sandfort, 21)
- Krikke scored 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting. He has been in double figure in all five games.
- Sandfort made 5-of-10 field goals, landing in double figures for the fourth time in five games. He also tied for the team lead with seven rebounds.
- Iowa finished +9 on the glass, outrebounding OU, 44-35.
- The Hawkeyes went 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half and finished 4-of-23 from long range in the game.
- Iowa didn’t connect on its first 3-pointer until the 12:44 mark in the second half.
- Iowa committed a season-high 14 turnovers in the game. It was the first time this season the team has had more than seven turnovers.
The Hawkeyes return to action Friday, facing the loser of the Seton Hall/USC game at 5 p.m. (CT) in the consolation game of the Rady Children’s Invitational in San Diego. The game will be televised on FOX.