Hawkeyes Hand Northwestern First Conference Home Loss

EVANSTON, Ill. – The University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Northwestern, 87-80, on Saturday evening at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Iowa advances to 18-12 on the season and 10-9 in Big Ten conference play.

Sophomore Josh Dix scored a career-high 24 points to lead Iowa in the scoring column. Dix shot 9-of-13 (69%) from the field and 4-of-5 (80%) from deep. Dix racked up 16 points in the second half.

Junior Payton Sandfort scored 23 points, matching Dix with four 3-pointers. Sandfort grabbed six rebounds and shot 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Senior Tony Perkins dished out a game-high 14 assists. Perkins was one assist shy of tying his career high. The Indianapolis, Indiana, native scored 10 points.

Graduate Ben Krikke scored 12 points, missing just one shot from the field (4-of-5). Krikke also pulled in six rebounds. Freshman Owen Freeman scored nine points to go along with six rebounds.

The first 20 minutes was a game of runs that featured six lead changes and five ties. Sandfort scored eight of Iowa’s first 11 points. Trailing the Wildcats, 31-24, at the five-minute mark the Hawkeyes went on an 8-0 run to take the lead back. The Hawkeyes got hot from three in the first half, shooting 6-of-13 (46%).

Going into halftime, Iowa trailed Northwestern, 37-36.

Dix started the second half with a 3-pointer that retook the lead right back. The Hawkeyes would go on to lead the rest of the game. A 7-0 Iowa run started with a pair of Dix free throws with 12:47 remaining and would give Iowa their biggest lead of the game. Northwestern refused to go away, but the Hawkeyes had an answer for every Wildcat run.

Iowa finished the game shooting 33-of-60 (55%) from the field and 10-of-20 (50%) from deep. The Hawkeyes improves to 6-0 when shooting at least 50 percent from three. Iowa stayed hot at the free throw line, shooting 11-of-13 (85%).

“We try to do that every game if we can [set the tempo]. It’s not easy against [Northwestern]. With the pace that they play. They control and they call sets. They execute to perfection. I mean Chris runs great stuff. They have one of the best players in college basketball running it so that helps. You have to understand how they are playing defense. They are switching. They are aggressive and they work really hard. So, you can’t settle. That’s what happens sometimes. We tried to quicken the pace in transition. But then also score late if we had to. I thought we did a good job of that.”

“[Josh] is one of the best players in the league. He’s proven that over this season. He’s able to do it too playing 37 minutes. He’s in great condition. Boo is not an easy guy to guard. They are going to run ball screen action for him, handoff ball screen, and all kind of stuff to give him space. When he has space, he’s hard to cover. Especially the way he’s shooting the ball now…”


  • The Hawkeyes have won four of their last five games to improve to 10-9 in Big Ten play – the first time over .500 in the league this season.
    • Iowa has won 10 or more Big Ten games for the ninth time in 10 seasons.
  • The victory is Iowa’s fourth Quad 1 victory this season and the ninth Quad 1/Quad 2 victory.
    • The Hawkeyes have four true road wins.
  • Iowa’s win in Evanston was Northwestern’s first home loss in Big Ten play and just its second loss at Welsh-Ryan Arena this season (14-2).
  • Sophomore Josh Dix notched his third straight 20-point game, scoring a career-high 24 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including going 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
    • It is the first time in Dix’s career that he has reached double figures in three straight games.
    • It was Dix’s fourth 20-point game this season and his ninth game in double digits.
    • Over his last three games, Dix is averaging 21.3 points, shooting 68.4 percent (26-of-38) from the field.
  • Junior Payton Sandfort finished with 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including a 4-of-8 performance from 3-point range and 5-of-5 from free throw line.  He also had five rebounds and five assists.
    • It is Sandfort’s second-straight 20-point game and his team-leading ninth of the season.
    • Sandfort has made 21 straight free throws over the past two games.
    • Sandfort has made four or more 3-pointers in nine games, three or more in 14 games and two or more in 24 games.
  • Senior Tony Perkins tallied his second double-double this season, finishing with 10 points and 14 assists – one off a career high.
    • The 14 assists are tied for the fourth-most in program history.
    • It is his second game with 10+ assists this season.
    • It was Perkins’ fourth career double-double and his second of the points-assists variety.
  • Iowa rallied from a 37-36 halftime deficit; it was the team’s fifth win when trailing at the break this season.
  • Iowa has had at least four players reach double digits in 19 games this season.
  • The Hawkeyes made 10 3-point field goals, giving the team 18 makes in the last two games.
    • It is the fourth time this season Iowa has made 10 or more 3-pointers (first since Jan. 12 vs. Nebraska).
    • Iowa is 9-1 when making at least eight 3-pointers.
  • Iowa assisted on its first seven field goals and on 25 of 33 field goals in the game.
    • The Hawkeyes have 47 assists (on 58 field goals) in their last two games.
  • The team finished with just five turnovers – its 17th game with 10 or fewer turnovers.
    • Iowa is 11-6 when committing 10 or fewer miscues.

After more than a week off,  the Hawkeyes return home on March 10, hosting Illinois on Senior Night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.  Game time is set for 6 p.m. (CT).