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Payton Sandfort elaborates on 24-point performance following victory over Rutgers

Stephen Samraby:Steve Samra01/06/24


Payton Sandfort came through in a big way for the Iowa Hawkeyes in their win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Saturday.

The star forward put up 24 points for Iowa, along with eight rebounds and three assists en route to a Big Ten win. It was much needed, as Iowa advanced to 9-6 on the season, and got a win over a tough conference foe.

Speaking with Big Ten Network afterwards, Sandfort elaborated on what went into this afternoon’s win, and what the emphasis was for the Hawkeyes.

“We struggled, especially in Big Ten play, with getting stops. Hitting shots. Giving up too many lay-ups. That’s been a huge emphasis. I’m proud of the way we connected. I mean, we needed it,” Sandfort said. “We’ve still got things to improve on. But the more connected we can be, the more stops we’re going to get, and obviously our offense is going to be there. So that’s going to help us win games.”

Additionally, Sandfort explained that he put some extra pressure on himself in Saturday’s game as one of the team’s veterans, believing it was up to them to stop the bleeding for the Hawkeyes.

“When you’re going through a losing streak like this, veterans have to step up,” Sandfort added. “It can feel like it’s impossible to get a win. Coming out in the second half, setting the tone, especially after how we ended the first half, it was huge for me. It was huge for the team, just to kind of see some go in. … I’m just proud of the way our guys stepped up today.”

Moving forward, Iowa won’t play again until Fri. Jan. 12, when they welcome Nebraska to town. If the Hawkeyes can start a little winning streak, it can give them some serious momentum moving forward.

Time will tell if they’re able to, but Payton Sandfort will be right in the middle of whatever happens for Iowa, as they look to improve their standing throughout 2024.