Hawkeyes Mount Comeback, Defeat Minnesota, 90-85

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Minnesota, 90-85, on Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes improved to 14-10 on the season and 6-7 in Big Ten Conference play.

Junior Payton Sandfort coled the Hawkeyes in the scoring column with 21 points. Sandfort scored 12 second half points while knocking down all five of his free throws. Sandfort pulled in eight rebounds. Senior Patrick McCaffery scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half. McCaffery shot 7-of-12 from the field and also knocked down all five free throws.

Senior Tony Perkins knocked down ten free throws as he finished the game with 18 points. Perkins grabbed six rebounds, dished out four assists, blocked two shots, and had three steals. Freshman Owen Freeman had his fourth career double-double on Sunday. Freeman scored 17 points while grabbing a career high 14 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes struggled to get things going in the first half shooting 14-of-36 from the field and just 2-of-8 from deep. The Gophers were firing on all cylinders in the first half with three players reaching double digits. Minnesota shot 18-of-33 from the field and 8-of-12 from deep in the first 20 minutes. Iowa was led by Owen Freeman with 11 points and eight rebounds. At the end of the first Iowa trailed Minnesota, 31-58.

Minnesota was able to expand their lead to 20 points with 15 minutes left in the second half. From there on out it was all Hawkeyes. Iowa came back down from 20 points for the first time since January 5th, 2023, when they trailed Indiana by 21. Iowa shot 17-of-29 from the field and 3-of-7 from three in the second half. Iowa converted on 15-of-17 free-throws in the final 20 minutes.


“Well, the way comebacks always happen. You know you have to be better defensively, and you have to stay the course. We have an unselfish group. We have a lot of different guys that can score. You can’t panic. In the first half they made their run. We made a couple of uncharacteristic turnovers. We tried to be over aggressive I thought. Decision making the last 11 or 12 minutes was really good. We got better shots. We got to the bonus. We got to the double-bonus, that was huge. Because we were aggressively driving the ball. Freeman, I thought, at the start of the game he was a step slow maybe. Then he took the game over. You know, 17/14/4/4, that’s a pretty good line for a young guy. Really proud of him. The way he responded. A lot of guys. Patrick was outstanding. You know, Tony and Payton. Josh Dix defensively was really good. Just really proud of their ability to stay the course, stay together, stay connected, and keep coming. No panic.”


    • Minnesota led 51-38 at the half and pushed its lead to 62-42 with 16:11 to play. 
      • Iowa used a 9-0 run midway through the half to close the gap to 70-62 and a 16-0 run to take a 81-77 lead with 4:05 remaining.
        • It was Iowa’s first lead since 4-2 at 18:38.
    • The 20-point comeback victory is tied for the fourth largest comeback win in school history. (Iowa came down from 20 points down at Illinois in 2018.)
    • It is Iowa’s largest second-half comeback en route to a win since trailing by 22 at Illinois in 1987.
  • Iowa had a 19-2 run in the second half during the comeback.  It is the second straight year with at least a 19-2 run (20-2, vs. Iowa State).
  • The Hawkeyes closed the game on a 37-15 run over the final 11:43. Iowa outscored Minnesota, 52-34, in the second half.
  • Junior Payton Sandfort scored 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 12 in the second half.  He also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
    • It is his sixth 20-point game this season.
  • Senior Patrick McCaffery finished with 21 points, making 7-of-12 field goals, including two 3-pointers and all five free throws.
    • It was his second 20 point game this season and the seventh of his career.
    • He has reached double figures in three straight games and in 12 games this season.
    • McCaffery is now 34 points shy of becoming Iowa’s 53rd 1,000 point scorer.
  • Freshman Owen Freeman recorded his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists.
    • Freeman made 7-of-13 field goals en route to his 13th game in double figures this season.
    • His 14 rebounds and four assists are both career-highs.
    • His four double-doubles are a team high and matches Luka Garza for the most double-doubles by a Hawkeye freshman since 2017-18.
    • Freeman also had four blocks, moving him into third place in school history in blocks by a Hawkeye freshman (41).
      • Freeman has eight games this season with three or more blocks.
  • Senior Tony Perkins finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. He was 10-of-13 from the free throw stripe.
    • It is his 15th straight game in double figures and his 22nd in 24 games this season.

The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday, traveling to College Park to face Maryland at 7:30 p.m. (CT).