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Takeaways from Iowa’s 103-78 win over North Florida

The Hawkeyes pulled away in the second half behind Ben Krikke’s

NCAA Basketball: North Florida at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It took awhile, but the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-2) pulled away in the second half to beat the North Florida Ospreys (4-4), 103-78. Iowa was led by dueling banjos Tony Perkins & Ben Krikke with 21 points each on a combined 19 shots Perk kicked things off with a 5/6 first half for while Krikke’s 17 in the second half brought this one home. Their efficiency was indicative of the ease with which the whole team put the ball through the basket at 59.0% on the game, 88.5% at the line, and 57.1% from three.

The Hawks couldn’t quite break it open as the Ospreys hit 8 of their first 17 threes with their “chicks dig the long ball” approach to keep the game in single digits well into the second half, including a lead four minutes into the frame. The eventually cooled off, making 4 of their final 14 (good for 38.7%) as the Hawks closed it out strong behind Payton Sandfort finding his footing (10 points, 8 boards) after another stint in two-foul jail and one of the more insane performances from a freshman I have seen in Owen Freeman’s 16 point-5 block-3 steal stat-line.

Other takeaways:

Was Freeman mad he didn’t win a third straight freshman of the week?

Seriously. This kid has the goods.

All year he’s impressed me with his quick baseline spin move and general athleticism (when was the last time Iowa had a 6’10” guy run the court like he does?) but tonight felt like a bit of a coming out party by how he impacted the game defensively. He used his length to keep his hands in passing lanes and had a block on a three point attempt but his three block possession was one of the more dominant stretches I’ve seen in a Hawkeye defender on the basketball court.

Stealing from SirNicholas, his undershirt throws people off the scent. He’s oozing athleticism and provides scoring, but more importantly EFFORT, this team needs at times.

The roller coaster rides continue

Perkins was great tonight but really impacted the game defensively when Fran threw him at the top of the press in the second half. Iowa quickly forced two 10-second calls in short succession. Felt like an interesting look with Purdue coming up and their inability to break a press. I wouldn’t be surprised to see more Perk at the top of it.

Patrick McCaffery also had a truly weird game. It’s felt like he’s turned a corner in rebounding - he had 5 tonight, his third time this season - as he’s gotten more in traffic a la Joe Wieskamp. Let’s hope that continues. But man, he’s good for 4-5 YOLO drives a game which isn’t necessarily what this team needed. He did end up with 16 points on 13 shots but added a team-high 3 turnovers to his stat line.

Josh Dix looks BACK

While his 7 points doesn’t blow you away, he had two plays which felt like a huge step forward in his athleticism. He got way in on the block party with a swat of his own where he gathered the board and started the break. He also added a straight-line drive where he powered through his defender.

Next up: at Purdue (7-0), Monday 12/4 at 6p CT on Big Ten Network