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Hawks win 85-51 over Portland State

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Virginia awaits

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Hey folks.

Weird game.

Iowa’s offense struggled to get going in the first half and, shocker, leaned on Keegan Murray’s production to stay afloat. He scored 21 of his game-high 23 in the period as Iowa lead at the break 31-20. They had 13 turnovers, including 3 from Joe Toussaint in his 4 minutes during the frame.

The second half featured more scoring and less watching from me, as I put my son to bed. He was not having it! Anyways, I returned amidst a 20-4 run which gave Iowa a 26-point game with about 11 minutes left. Pat McCaffery scored 12 of his 14 points during the stretch.

Tony Perkins did a lot of cool things as the game got into garbage time. He finished with 10 points on 4/6 shooting.

Anyways, the Iowa Hawkeyes got to 6-0 and Portland State is now 2-3.

Some additional thoughts!

The defense played well

23 turnovers from Portland State led to 23 Hawkeye points. 11 of them were steals from the Hawks, as Keegan & Connor McCaffery had two apiece plus a couple in garbage time from Josh Ogundele. They allowed just .67 points/possession but did struggle with offensive rebounding, as the Vikes had 16, or 35% of their misses.

The pressing changed a bit from the prior game - much less frequently with Pat at the top - which is more stylistic critique than anything else.

Iowa needs somebody else to step up

It’s going to be tough sledding if Iowa has to ride Keegan Murray like Hidalgo throughout long stretches of every game. He’s closed each first half with over 20 points as the starters struggle to get anyone else going short of Jordan Bohannon catching fire from deep. Not ideal when he has to play essentially all 20 first half minutes against Portland State!

But don’t get me wrong: Murray is an absolute delight to watch and his ability to affect games on both sides, be a single-man offense in the half court and transition, plus do it all without breaking a sweat? Truly unfair.

They cleaned up the turnovers

The first half was without a doubt the ugliest of the young season. It felt like everyone was working through that post-Thanksgiving malaise. But the teeth of the schedule are approaching and Iowa needs Joe Toussaint to be the best version of himself, which was closer to his second half output: a basket, a couple assists, and clean in the turnover column.

By the way, the way the game was called early did very little to help Iowa here. The Hawks were called for three offensive fouls and I guess that’s fine, but they played more within themselves that second half.

That’s it from me. Next up for Iowa: at Virginia on Monday, November 30th, at 6:00p.