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Hawkeyes outlast Clemson, 74-71

Patrick McCaffery led the way but Tony Perkins closed at the line

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Seton Hall Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The #25 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-0) stomached a 14-2 run from the Clemson Tigers (4-2) in the waning minutes to pull out the 74-71 win.

Patrick McCaffery got off to a hot start with 10 of Iowa’s first 15 points as they got out to a 15-12 lead, establishing a lead they would never technically relinquish. Five straight points out of half got the Hawkeye lead to double digits as he showed off a varied array of moves in the paint. He finished with 21 points on 7/14 shooting and five rebounds.

With Tony Perkins coming off a leg injury and Kris Murray struggling from the field, Iowa had trouble sustaining offense down the stretch. A Dasonte Bowen three-pointer extended the Hawkeye lead to 12 before experiencing a six-plus minute drought from the field (four free throws) as Chase Hunter took over for Clemson, scoring six and assisting a couple other baskets as the Tigers tied it up at 64-64.

Perkins got his only basket from the field, a driving layup with 1:35 remaining to regain the lead before the Tigers added a free throw. From there, Iowa struggled to get an open shot, with an inbound give-and-go to Patrick resulting in an airball off Clemson with 40.1 seconds left.

Connor McCaffery found Perk for a midrange jumper which couldn’t find anything before a Filip Rebrača putback perplexed the announcers with the fact he was able to get it off before the shot clock expired. 68-65, Hawkeyes.

The Hawks withstood one last Hunter drive & kick with Murray corralling the rebound and dishing it to Perkins. He closed the game 6/6 at the line to bounce back from an otherwise sideways night (1/6 from the field, three turnovers, four fouls).

They proved enough, as Clemson hit two more threes but weren’t ready for Fran’s pass-to-the-passer inbound play after a timeout. The way Iowa ran it allowed time to run down to 1.5 as Perkins drove up-court.

Next up: winner of California/TCU tomorrow, 11/25, at 6:00p CT

Additional takeaways:

  • Honestly, it’s a good sign when Iowa can win when their best players aren’t playing their best. Kris Murray & Tony Perkins finished the game 8/20 but Iowa found offense elsewhere, especially Pat. Perhaps most of note, Murray and Perkins didn’t allow their offense to affect the rest of their game too much. Perkins closed great, as noted above, and Murray had 12 rebounds including the crucial one.
  • Neither team found the basket as much as they’d like but Iowa came away with a huge rebounding margin, 46-32. Kris’ 12, Rebrača had 10, Connor 6. They rebounded 43.6% of their misses and had 20 second chance points.
  • The bench played well, particularly Dasonte Bowen and Josh Ogundele. Bowen had 9 points on 3/3 shooting in 12 minutes. Ogundele did good Ogundele things and had two nifty assists. Iowa’s big men pass well, as Rebrača had a couple assists of his own. I actually think Iowa’s offense lost a little bit when Bowen went out as Fran went to Iowa’s closing lineup, though he did have two turnovers.