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Hawkeyes shoot past Scarlet Knights

Tom Kakert01/29/23
Article written by:On3 imageTom Kakert


Kris Murray
Photo: Dennis Scheidt

For the first four minutes of the game, it looked like it was going to be one of those days for the Iowa basketball team. Everything they threw up towards the rim clanked off and Iowa was held scoreless. The Hawkeyes finally got on the board with 16:10 left in the first half on a Kris Murray drive and didn’t stop scoring for the rest of the game, putting up 93 points on the Big Ten’s toughest defense in a 93-82 victory over Rutgers on Sunday afternoon.

With the victory, Iowa moves to 13-8 on the season and 5-5 in conference play. Meanwhile, Rutgers dropped to 14-7 overall and 6-4 in conference play. The Hawkeyes also complete a season sweep of the Scarlet Knights, which could become important as a potential tiebreaker leading into the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa did struggle out of the gate, falling behind 6-0 before the Murray bucket. The junior forward finished the game with a game high 24 points and 8 rebounds. The Hawkeyes kept chipping away and Murray tied it at 10 with a three pointer. A pair of free throws from Tony Perkins put Iowa up 19-18 with 8:47 left in the first half and the Hawkeyes never trailed after that. After the game was tied at 29, Iowa finished on an 16-5 run to go into the break up 45-34 over Rutgers.

In the second half, both teams were content to trade baskets early on. Iowa kept the lead at our around double figures before Rutgers eventually made the push that everyone expected. Patrick McCaffery swished a pair of triples in the middle of the second half to put Iowa up ten, 68-58. McCaffery finished nine points in 13 minutes in his first playing time in nearly a month.

Rutgers made a charge led by reserve forward Andre Hyatt. He was shooting just over 30% from three this season, but he was red hot in the second half. Hyatt hit three straight triples to pull the Scarlet Knights within four. Then Cam Spencer scored on a fast break to cut the lead to two. It got as low as one after a free throw by Dean Reiber, but then Iowa put their foot on the gas one final time.

Backup guard Josh Dix knocked home a three to push the lead to 72-67 with 6:37 left in the game. Iowa maintained that lead and then with 1:14 left in the contest, Connor McCaffery knocked home a three pointer to push the lead to 85-75 and essentially ended the game.

After struggling from the foul line on Thursday night at Michigan State, Iowa made 29-34 from the foul line in this game, including 20-24 in the second half. The Hawkeyes also shot 50%, 12-24 for three point range.

Up next for the Hawkeyes is a rescheduled game against Northwestern. They face the Wildcats on Tuesday evening at 8 pm at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.