IOWA CITY, Iowa – Three different Hawkeyes finished with a double-double as the University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Nebraska, 94-76, in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday night. The win marks head coach Fran McCaffery’s 271st career win, tying Dr. Tom Davis for the most wins in school history. The Hawkeyes move to 10-6 on the season and 2-3 in Big Ten play.
Freshman Owen Freeman led the Hawkeyes in the scoring column for the third time this season. Freeman was nearly perfect from the field in the second half, knocking down 7-of-8 field goal attempts and scoring 14 points in the second 20 minutes of action. Freeman finished the game with a career-high 22 points and pulled in 10 rebounds as he finished with a double-double. Sophomore Josh Dix caught fire from deep, knocking down 5-of-8 3-point attempts, a career-high from beyond the arc. Dix finished the game with 16 points, marking another career best.
— Iowa Men’s Basketball (@IowaHoops) January 13, 2024
Senior Tony Perkins set a career-high with 15 assists and just two turnovers. The 15 assists is one shy of the Iowa single game assists record (Cal Wulfsberg, 16 assists vs. Ohio State). Perkins becomes the third Hawkeye in program history to have 15+ assists in a single game. He added 11 points to secure his first double-double of the season. Junior Payton Sandfort shot 5-of-12 from beyond the arc to go along with 10 rebounds. It is Sandfort’s third double-double of the season.
Senior Patrick McCaffery added 12 points and also grabbed five rebounds, while graduate Ben Krikke rounded out the Hawkeyes in double digits with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting.
The Hawkeyes shot 19-of-32 (59.4%) from the field in the second half and 8-of-15 (53.3%) from 3-point range to pull away. Iowa had 17 assists on 19 made field goals in the second half while committing just one turnover. Iowa’s defense held Nebraska to 4-of-26 (15.4%) from deep.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“I was impressed with the crowd. I mean [the weather is] bad, it’s as bad as I’ve seen. I thought it was going to be like the Covid crowd. You really had to create the atmosphere and it was all created by the guys on the bench. We had the band. The people that came were fired up and they made an impact. I was really pleased with that under the circumstances. The energy level right at the start was crucial. We get a big lead and then we had a little scoring drought. It’s a really good team we beat. Incredibly well coached. You knew they were going to comeback, and they did. But then we had another spurt, and I thought our zone was really good to us coming down the stretch.”
“You look at [Tony], obviously he’s a terrific player. We want to let him go get buckets and make plays from that position. I just felt like he’s a guy you can give the ball. You can trust him to run your offense. He understands the game. I think we have all seen him grow in that position. When I put him in the starting line up two-years ago we put Bohannon at the point, so he didn’t have that type of pressure. Then he always had Connor with him and that was a factor. He’s one competitive guy and I’m really proud of him. 15 [assists] too that’s impressive.
“We have a very unselfish group. 30 assists on 35 field goals. What that means is we are moving the ball and finding open people. Made 15 threes. I’ve always said we have really good shooters and sometimes you don’t shoot it well, and that happens. You are not going to shoot it well if you don’t get open shots. We moved the ball, shared the ball, and got open shots.
- Tonight’s victory is head coach Fran McCaffery’s 271st career win, tying Tom Davis for the most wins in program history.
- The Hawkeyes had three players post double-double for the second time this season.
- Junior Payton Sandfort finished with 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He went 5-of-14 from the field with five 3-point field goals.
- It is Sandfort’s third double-double of the season (and career).
- He has made 10 3-point field goals in the last two games.
- Sandfort has made at least four 3-pointers in five games this season (12 times in his career).
- He has made at least three 3s in nine games and two or more in 11 straight games.
- He has scored in double digits in 13 games.
- Senior Tony Perkins finished with 11 points and a career-high 15 assists, including seven in the first half.
- It is Perkins’ first double-double of the season and the second of his career.
- Perkins is the 10th player in school history to post a points-assists double-double.
- His 15 assists are tied for the second most in single game in program history (B.J. Armstrong) and one shy of Cal Wulfsberg’s school record (16).
- It is Perkins’ fourth game with seven or more assists and Iowa’s second game with 10+ assists this season (Brock Harding).
- He is the 22nd player in school history with 10+ assists in a game.
- Freshman Owen Freeman finished with a career-high 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his third career double-double. He made 11-of-13 field goals, including six dunks.
- Freeman is the fifth Hawkeye to notch a 20-point game this season.
- Sophomore Josh Dix scored a career-high 16 points, making a career-high five 3-point field goals. It was his first career game with multiple 3-pointers.
- Graduate Ben Krikke scored 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and senor Patrick McCaffery had 12 points and five rebounds.
- Iowa had six players finish in double figures for the third time this season.
- Iowa made a season-high 15 3-point field goals on a high 35 attempts.
- The Hawkeyes shot 52.2 percent from the field – the eighth game shooting 50 percent or higher.
- Iowa had 30 assists on 35 field goals. The 30 assists are tied for the sixth most in the McCaffery era.
- The team committed just six turnovers, its ninth game with 10 or fewer turnovers.
- The Hawkeyes limited Nebraska to 4-of-26 shooting from 3-point range. The 15.4 percentage is a season low by an Iowa opponent.
Iowa returns to action Monday, traveling to Minneapolis to face Minnesota at Williams Arena. Game time is 5 p.m. (CT)