Hawkeyes Defeat Kansas State in NIT First Round

IOWA CITY, Iowa – The No. 3 seeded University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Kansas State, 91-82, in the opening round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Hawkeyes await the winner of No. 2 Utah vs. No. 7 UC Irvine.

Junior Payton Sandfort scored a career-high 30 points, while also posting a double-double with 12 rebounds. Sandfort caught fire at the start of the game, scoring 17 of Iowa’s first 22 points. The Waukee, Iowa, native finished 7-of-11 (64%) from deep and was 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

Graduate Ben Krikke scored 24 points, finishing just one point shy of his season high. Krikke also secured a double-double with 11 rebounds. Krikke finished the game with three steals and a block.

Freshman Owen Freeman scored 10 points in an efficient 3-of-6 shooting. Senior Tony Perkins added nine points to go along with eight assists.

Sandfort scored 22 points in the first half, as the Hawkeyes shot 7-of-14 from deep and 14-of-28 from the field. Iowa defended the 3-point line well in the first 20-minutes and did so while limiting fouls. Kansas State shot three free throws in the first half. At the break, Iowa led the Wildcats, 50-39.

Kansas State refused to go away in the second half, cutting Iowa’s 13-point halftime lead to three within three minutes. The Hawkeyes answered with a 9-0 run. Iowa leaned on Krikke, who scored 21 of the team’s 41 second half points on 8-of-11 shooting. Iowa shot 15-of-32 (46.9%) from the field in the second half and 4-of-9 (44.4%) from deep.

“I just want to open with how pleased I was with the crowd tonight. Our players and coaches really appreciate it. They were loud. They were engaged. They were into the game. It clearly made a difference with our energy level. I’m really appreciative and very thankful for their effort tonight.”

“[Payton] was great. The thing that was impressive to me, when he’s cooking like that, teams adjust in terms of how they guard him. They started face guarding him, they started holding him and being physical with him. Which is what anybody would do. So, he just kept screening and moving. He was getting people open…”


  • Iowa improves to 11-8 all-time in the NIT. 
  • Junior Payton Sandfort scored a career-high 30 points, making 9-of-14 field goals, including 7-of-11 3-pointers.  The forward also tied a career high with 12 rebounds to notch his fifth double-double. 
    • It was Iowa’s first 30-point game since last season against Illinois (Tony Perkins, 32 points).
    • It was Sandfort’s 11th 20-point game this season and the 18th of his career.
    • The seven 3-pointers are a career high and ties Jordan Bohannon and Devyn Marble for the most 3s in an NIT game.
    • He has made two or more 3s in 27 games, three or more in 17 games, four or more in 12 games and five or more in six games.
    • Sandfort scored 11 of the first 13, 17 of 22 points over the first eight minutes, making all five field goals, including four 3-pointers.
    • He scored 22 points on 6-of-8 shooting with five 3s in the first half.
    • He has been in double figures 27 times this season.
  • Graduate Ben Krikke scored 24 points – 21 in the second half –  grabbed 11 rebounds and had three steals.  He made 9-of-15 field goals.
    • It was Krikke’s eighth 20-point game this season and his 23rd game in double figures.
    • The double-double is his fourth this season and the seventh of his career.
  • Senior Tony Perkins finished with nine points and eight assists.
    • It was his eighth game this season with at least seven assists.
  • Freshman Owen Freeman finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
  • The Hawkeyes put up 50 points in the first half for the first time since Dec. 29 against Northern Illinois.
    • Iowa went 14-of-28 from the field and 7-of-14 from 3-point range in the first half.
  • Iowa improves to 52-8 when scoring 90 or more points under McCaffery.
    • Iowa is 9-0 when scoring 90 or more this season.
  • The Hawkeyes have won 90 of their last 96 nonconference home games, dating back to 2012.
  • Iowa made 7-of-14 3-point field goals in the first half and 11 for the game.
    • It was the fifth time this season Iowa has made at least 10 3-pointers (5-0 record).
    • The Hawkeyes are 10-2 this season when making at least eight 3-point field goals.
  • The Hawkeyes finished with 20 assists on 29 field goals. 
    • Iowa is 11-1 this season when dishing out 20 or more assists.

The Hawkeyes advance to the NIT Second Round where they will face either No. 2 seed Utah or UC Irvine this weekend.