MBB Preview -- Northern Illinois

OPPONEN Northern Illinois (6-5) at IOWA (7-5)
LOCATION Carver-Hawkeye Arena | Iowa City, Iowa
DATE Friday, Dec. 29
TIP-OFF 6 p.m. (CT)
RADIO Hawkeye Radio Network


The University of Iowa men’s basketball team closes out nonconference play, hosting Northern Illinois on Friday in the “Holiday Game” on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will tipoff at 6 p.m. (CT).
• Tickets range from $15-35 for adults, $5-10 for youth and $5 for students.


Radio: Friday’s game will be broadcast on the Hawkeye Radio Network with Jon Swisher (play-by-play) and Bobby Hansen (color) on the call. The network includes more than 40 stations that blanket the state of Iowa and include portions of Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The Hawkeye Radio Network includes a 60-minute pregame show.
Online: Friday’s game will be streamed on B1G+ with AJ Reisetter (play-by-play) on the call.


  • The Hawkeyes close out nonconference play and the 2023 calendar year, hosting Northern Illinois on Friday at 6 p.m. (CT). Iowa is 5-1 at home this season where it averages 97 points in six contests.
  • Iowa had three players — Payton Sandfort, Ben Krikke and Brock Harding — post double-doubles in the victory over UMBC — a first for the program since 2013. Harding had his first career double-double — the first points-assists double-double since 2021.
  • Harding finished the game with a career-high 12 assists — the most by a freshman since Jordan Bohannon’s 13 in 2017.
  • Iowa has had a different freshman post double-doubles in consecutive games (Owen Freeman/Brock Harding) for the first time since the 2016-17 season (Tyler Cook/Jordan Bohannon).
  • Freeman notched his first career double-double, finishing with 14 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in Iowa’s 88-52 victory over Florida A&M on Dec. 16. It was the first double-double by an Iowa freshman since Joe Wieskamp in 2018.
  • Freeman was recognized as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for a school-record fourth time on Dec. 18. He is one of 16 players in Big Ten history to earn the league’s freshman of the week honors at least four times.
  • Iowa finished with 33 assists — a season-high, the second-most assists in school history and the eighth-most in the nation this season — against UMBC on Dec. 20. The team committed just four turnovers in the game — a season low.
  • The Hawkeyes are +25 on the glass in their last two games, including a season-best +14 against FAMU on Dec. 16.
  • Iowa is 5-1 when attempting at least 20 free throws, 5-1 when shooting 50+ percent from the field and 4-1 when making eight or more 3-pointers.
  • Ahoy 100. Iowa hit the century mark for the third time this season, scoring 103 points against UMBC on Dec. 20. The Hawkeyes have scored 100+ points 12 times since the start of the 2021-22 season.
  • Iowa is one the nation’s top offensive teams, averaging 86.6 points in 12 games. The Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten and 13th nationally. The team has scored at least 84 points in eight games, averaging 96.4 points in wins and 72.8 points in losses.
  • The Hawkeyes are second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally, averaging 19.4 assists per game. Iowa is second in the league and fourth nationally with a 1.96 assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • McCaffery is four wins from becoming the winningest coach in Iowa basketball history. Tom Davis has 271 victories as Iowa’s head coach. With his next Big Ten victory, McCaffery will also have the most league wins (127) in program history.
  • Iowa is one of 10 teams in the country to make the last four NCAA Tournaments and one of only three Big Ten teams to accomplish the feat (Purdue, Michigan State).


  • The Huskies bring a 6-5 record into Iowa City after dropping four of their last five games. NIU lost at home to Northern Iowa, 76-63, on Dec. 21 in DeKalb.
  • NIU fell 89-67 at Northwestern on Nov. 27. The Huskies are 2-3 in road games in 2023-24.
  • The Huskies have three players averaging in double figures with David Coit leading the team at 17.5 points per game. Coit has a team-high 42 assists, 12 steals and 29 3-point field goals, while shooting 90.7 percent from the free throw stripe (39-of-43).
  • NIU averages 80.5 points per game and shooting 47.8 percent. The Huskies have nine more turnovers (136) than assists (127) this season.
  • The Huskies average 25.2 free throw attempts per game, which ranks in the top-25 nationally.


  • Friday’s game will be the 10th game in the all-time series dating back to 1973. The Hawkeyes are 9-0 all-time against the Huskies.
  • Eight of the nine victories have come in Iowa City, including a 106-53 win in the most recent meeting in 2020.
  • The Hawkeyes are 28-6 all-time against schools from the Mid-American Conference.



The Hawkeyes used double-doubles from Payton Sandfort, Ben Krikke and Brock Harding to post a 103-81 victory over UMBC on Dec. 20 in Iowa City. Iowa shot 50 percent from the field, making 42-of-84 field goal attempts and had five players land in double figures. Tony Perkins led all scorers with a season-high 23 points to go along with seven assists, six rebounds, and four steals. The Hawkeyes scored a season-high 66 points in the paint and had a 28-6 advantage in fastbreak points.


  • The Hawkeyes are 23rd nationally in pace of play in 2023-24, averaging 76.5 possessions per 40 minutes.
  • Iowa has had four different players hit the 20-point mark this season (Ben Krikke, Tony Perkins, Payton Sandfort, Patrick McCaffery).
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in eight games this season.
  • Iowa is 5-1 inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season and 19-4 in its last 23 home games.
  • Iowa has won 88 of its last 94 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
  • The Hawkeyes are 5-1 this season when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor.
  • Iowa has held three opponents under 40 percent shooting this season. The team is undefeated in the three contests.
  • The Hawkeyes held Florida A&M to 52 points on Dec. 16 in Des Moines — the fewest points allowed since giving up 51 points to Portland State in 2021.
  • Senior Tony Perkins has 14 assists to one turnover over Iowa’s last two games. He is tied for the team lead with 40 assists this season.
  • Over his last two games, Brock Harding is averaging 10 points, seven assists and 2.5 steals while shooting 50 percent from the field in 22.3 minutes per game.
  • Junior Payton Sandfort has attempted 80 3-point field goals — the most in the Big Ten. He has 30 makes — second-most in the conference.
  • Sandfort has made four 3-point field goals in four games this season. The junior has made two or more 3-pointers in each of his last seven games.
  • The Hawkeyes are third in the Big Ten in free throw percentage, making 75 percent of their attempts this season.
  • Sandfort has been Iowa’s leading rebounder (or tied for the team lead) in six games this season. The forward is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game, which ranks 12th in the Big Ten.
  • The Hawkeyes have earned five Big Ten weekly honors this season — Ben Krikke (Player of the Week – 11/20) and Owen Freeman (Freshman of Week (11/13, 11/20, 12/4, 12/18). Freeman is the first Hawkeye freshman to earn the award in consecutive weeks and the four honors are a single season school record.
  • Sophomore Dasonte Bowen has 39 assists to eight turnovers this season. His 4.88 assist-to-turnover ratio is third in the Big Ten and sixth nationally. Iowa has four players ranked in the top 14 in the Big Ten in assist-to-turnover ratio.
  • The Hawkeyes have placed fifth or better in the Big Ten standings in five straight and 10 of the last 11 years, and the program has won 10 or more Big Ten games in eight of the last nine seasons.
  • Iowa led the Big Ten and was 18th nationally in scoring offense (80.1). The Hawkeyes have led the league in scoring in seven of the last 11 seasons, including six straight years.


The Hawkeyes had three players tally double doubles in Iowa’s 103-81 victory over UMBC on Dec. 20 — Payton Sandfort (18 points, 10 rebounds, Ben Krikke (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Brock Harding (10 points, 12 assists).
• It is the first time since 2013 that Iowa has had three double-doubles in the same game. Jarrod Uthoff, Melsahn Basabe and Gabe Olasani each posted points-rebounds double-doubles in a win over Farleigh Dickinson.


Brock Harding became the second consecutive Hawkeye freshman to post a double-double, finishing with 10 points and a career-high 12 assists against UMBC on Dec. 20.
• Harding’s 12 assists are the most by an Iowa freshman since Jordan Bohannon’s 13 against TCU in the 2017 NIT.
• The points-assists double-double is the first by a Hawkeye since Joe Toussaint in 2021.
• Harding is the 21st player with a 10+ assists game in school history.
• Owen Freeman and Harding are the first freshmen duo to post a double-double in back-to-back games since Tyler Cook and Bohannon in the 2016-17 season.