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Iowa men's basketball triumphs, 90-81, in historic fashion over Penn State Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

Iowa men's basketball triumphs, 90-81, in historic fashion over Penn State Tuesday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena

The Iowa men's basketball team improved to 9-9 in Big Ten play by defeating Penn State, 90-81, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday night.

Forward Payton Sandfort notched the first triple-double in Iowa men's basketball history, recording 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists along with three blocks. Guard Josh Dix finished with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Forward Patrick McCaffery surpassed 1,000 career points while Ben Krikke reached the 2,000 career point mark.

We played these guys a few weeks ago and they played better than us. Tonight we played better,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said after the game. We had some really impressive individual performances. I'm really proud of the guys.

Iowa got off to a sloppy start on both sides of the ball, committing a turnover and allowing a putback offensive rebound in the first minute of the game. But the Hawkeyes quickly responded with a 14-2 run over the next 3:36, with Dix responsible for eight of those 14 points.

Although the Nittany Lions began to find some sort of momentum after their cold start, the Hawkeyes continued their offensive push, recording assist after assist, including a sweet zip pass from Brock Harding to the patiently waiting Owen Freeman under the basket while they led, 29. -12, during the first 10 minutes of play.

Iowa's offense finally hit a roadblock as Penn State became increasingly aggressive on both ends. The Hawkeyes scored just six points on 1-4 shooting over the next three minutes before scoring five quick points to take a 12-point lead with five minutes remaining in the first half.

However, the Nittany Lions made seven of nine shots while the Hawkeyes went scoreless for over three minutes, with the lead quickly reduced to just seven. The final two minutes saw sloppy mistakes from both teams as Iowa went into the break in the round of 16, 47-39.

Dix led the way for the Hawkeyes with 18 points on 7 of 8 shooting with his only miss in the final minute of the half. Freeman followed up with eight points and six rebounds as eight of Iowa's nine players contributed points in the first 20 minutes.

Penn State went on a spirited 8-4 run in the first 2:03 of the second half. But Iowa responded quickly with an 11-5 score to bring the lead back to double digits. The lead was then cut once again to just five until Payton Sandforts dished to a cutting Tony Perkins and his signature pull-up three locked in a double-double for himself while giving a lead 68-58 eight minutes into the second half. .

The momentum didn't stop there for Iowa as a Ladji Dembele three-pointer and a full-field touchdown pass to a wide-open Sandfort further extended the lead to as many as 15 over the three following minutes.

The Hawkeye offense went cold once again, failing to convert a field goal in over four minutes and going scoreless for over three minutes. But with the help of a Sandfort block and a Perkins steal, the Iowa defense kept the lead within reach as Penn State cut the lead to 79-71 over the course of this period.

I wish we could just put a team away, Patrick McCaffery said of Penn State's multiple comeback attempts. It's kind of been our bugaboo all year, something we haven't been good at. So I wish we could, you know, be a little bit better at that. But we kept them at bay.

Sandfort's second triple of the game broke the drought and pushed Iowa's lead to 11 with just under three minutes to play. Sandfort grabbed his 10th rebound with 21 seconds left to notch the first triple-double in Iowa men's basketball history, a fitting end to a crucial 90-81 victory.

I didn't really know [how close I was], Sandfort said after making history. I thought I was close to a double-double. I told one of the coaches before the game that I was going to get ten rebounds and then [the coach] it was like, Hey, get one more bounce.

[I said], I got you. He said: No, get another rebound.

Injury update

Iowa reserve guard Dasonte Bowen is averaging 4.4 points and two assists per game this season but hasn't played since Feb. 14 against Maryland. The last time the second-year guard logged more than 10 minutes was Jan. 24. After Tuesday's win, Fran McCaffery said Bowen's lack of action was due to a “lingering” knee injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season. season.

The head coach said Bowen initially tried to overcome his illness, but added the injury only got worse. Surgery is planned for the next two to three weeks.

“We all support him as he goes through this difficult time because he is a truly wonderful young man,” he said of Bowen.


Iowa hits the road for another weekend in Illinois, but this time in Evanston to take on Northwestern. The Wildcats are 19-8 on the season and third in the Big Ten.

Head coach Doug Collins' team has won four of its last five games on February 28 and is led by star guard Boo Buie, who is averaging a team-high 18.9 points and 5.2 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent from the floor.




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