No Kris Murray? No problem.
The Iowa Hawkeyes put the pedal to the metal with a 15-0 run to open the game and never let up in a 75-56 rout of in-state rivals #20 Iowa State. Filip Rebrača played his best game in the black and gold, going for 22 points on 9/11 shooting with 11 boards (five on offense), four assists, and three blocks.
The Hawks not only weathered the Cyclone intensity but took it right back to them in the opening minutes of the game as Rebrača had a hand in Iowa’s first 10 points between two baskets and two assists for Tony Perkins’ three-pointers. The Serb was in his bag all night, shouting in his native tongue early and carrying that energy throughout. Did he see this tweet which omitted him as a guy who might step up with Murray out?
Without Kris Murray, who steps up the most tonight for Iowa?— Chad Leistikow (@ChadLeistikow) December 9, 2022
Iowa extended the lead with strong three-point shooting from everyone, including an Ahron Ulis three to get it to 29-8 and Patrick McCaffery extending it to 39-16. En route to the 23-point lead, the high point of the half, Connor McCaffery drained a couple - including one from a suburb of Caitlin Clark City - and Rebrača’s first of the season. They finished the half 7/14 from deep, while ISU was 0/11 from deep.
Commentator Nick Bahe mentioned multiple times throughout the broadcast how intentional Fran McCaffery was during shootaround earlier today and the Hawks sure as hell showed it, en route to his 500th win. The Hawks got into the bonus halfway through the half, which included eight fouls among the Cyclones’ forwards - they were 7/9 line while ISU was 0/0 - and held serve in turnovers.
In the second half, Iowa refused to let the ‘clones close the gap, matching early two-pointers from them with three pointers and Pat’s best stretch of the game with 10 of 12 Iowa points to get the lead to 55-26. The game meandered before Tony Perkins caught a body.
Iowa went a stretch of five-plus minutes without scoring which saw the lead dip to ... 17. Four free throws from Connor & Rebrača’s second three stemmed the tide with 3:37 remaining.
It finished at 75-56 before Connor & Patrick checked out to hug their father as win #500 came to a close.
Breaking this out because it’s more than a “takeaway” but shoutout to the crowd at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Just a hugely important game to bounce back from the loss against Duke with plenty of football visitors - including Cade McNamara - in the house. That’s the type of environment that has people wanting to get back and whoa boy, the team put an effort up worth snagging a ticket on the way home.
- Fran slotted Connor into the starting lineup and the dude absolutely delivered. He was in control all game - 14 points & four assists in 36 minutes. His only points from the field came on crucial threes in the first half but got to the line in the second, going 8/8 as Iowa didn’t do much in the final 10 minutes of the game. I know it’s nice to have the vet guide the young guys off the bench but might make sense to keep him in the starting even when Murray returns.
- Weird game from Perkins, who’s 10 points were about as LOUD as you could get between the two early threes and poster dunk. Those were his only baskets, as he went 3/11. Ahron Ulis made his only threes but was dreadful against ISU’s defense with six of Iowa’s 18 turnovers. He was important defensively, though, with the Cyclone’s leading scorer, Jaren Holmes, finishing with just seven points on 3/13 shooting.
- Another tight-as-hell rotation as Fran rolled with the three starting guards for a collective 103 minutes. Rebrača played a game-high 37 while Pat had 28. Payton Sandfort added 16 minutes off the bench and hit his first three in what felt like forever. Josh Dix had a putback in 10 minutes and didn’t look out of place. Dasonte Bowen played just three, as he was the odd man out among Iowa’s guards.
Next up: home versus Wisconsin Badgers (7-2, 1-0);Sunday, December 11th at 5:30p