What road woes?
Fran McCaffery’s Iowa squad, on the heels of one of the greatest Iowa basketball games I’ve ever seen, continued its winning ways in stunning fashion, this time with a 90-68 blowout win on the road at Indiana.
Tony Perkins and Kris Murray put together two absolutely spectacular performances, combining for 49 of Iowa’s 90 points.
Perkins was on triple-double watch for most of the night and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists, while Murray did his part as well to the tune of 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. Four Hawkeyes in total scored in double figures; Filip Rebraca logged 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Payton Sandfort added 16 points off the bench, including shooting 5-9 from the night.
He even sealed the Hawkeye win with a kiss (for which he got called for a glorious technical):
Payton Sandfort blew a kiss to the Indiana crowd and got T'd up pic.twitter.com/f7fHTi523a— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 1, 2023
Iowa came out of the gate guns blazing in the win and never looked back.
The Hawkeyes started the game out hot on a 10-2 run and never looked back, with Murray being the main aggressor from the start. He scored 8 of the team’s first 10 points as the lead quickly grew to 15-5, but IU clawed back and quickly cut into Iowa’s lead, cutting it from 10 to 6.
It seemed like Iowa might run away with it early, but a Jackson-Davis block on Murray was the spark the Hoosiers needed to cut right back into the Hawkeye lead, drawing it down to 5 with just over 9 minutes played in the half.
And yet Iowa responded with a 9-0 run of their own, thanks to aggressive lane penetration from Perkins and Patrick McCaffery, and a 3 from Sandfort. That proved to be the death-knell for the Hoosiers.
Quickly, Iowa’s lead was up to 33-20 with 6:45 remaining in the half. Despite leading in points in the paint, Indiana let Iowa underneath the basket with ease, with Perkins cutting through lanes with ease.
This was crucial for Iowa, who passed to perfection and created great open looks, as the success from beyond the arc that propelled them to victory against MSU continued, primarily thanks to Murray. Quickly, Iowa’s lead was suddenly 17, forcing an IU turnover with 4 minutes left in the half.
The half ended how it had played out for 20 minutes: with Iowa continually thwarting every Indiana attempt to come back, and the teams headed into the locker room with Iowa leading 47-36, the most points in a Big Ten game thus far in the season.
The second half began much the same as the first did, with Murray coming out of the gate playing aggressively and immediately scoring a 3, and quickly Iowa’s lead was once again back up to 15, thanks again to continued strong play from Perkins both in scoring and in assisting. Combined with Murray, Iowa opened the scoring gates again, taking control of the second half with an an 11-0 scoring run to go up 61-40 with 15:30 to play.
Indiana could just go nothing to stop Murray and Perkins in any facet of the game. Not making shots on the other end of the floor certainly didn’t help, but Murray’s lethal efficiency was as much a result of skill as it was Indiana forgetting how to guard him.
There wasn’t much to say from that point on. Indiana tried without avail to cut into Iowa’s lead, but again, every time they tried, Iowa had the response. The Hoosiers trailed 66-45 with 11:15 to go, and things never really got closer.
Overall, an extremely fun game with plenty of great performances and moments. If this team can continue to play like this, who knows what the tournament could bring.