March 23, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Iowa 90, Indiana 68: sealed with a kiss

What are the scourges of the road?

Fran McCaffrey’s Iowa team, on the heels of one of the greatest Iowa basketball games I’ve ever seen, continued their winning ways in spectacular fashion, this time with a 90-68 win on the road in Indiana.

Tony Perkins and Chris Murray had two very impressive performances, putting together 49 of Iowa’s 90 points.

Perkins would trail with a triple-double most of the night and finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists, while Murray, in turn, also totaled 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks. Four Hawkeyes in total have been scored in double digits; Philip Rybraca scored 16 points and 8 rebounds, while Payton Sandvoort added 16 points off the bench, including shooting 5-9 of the night.

He even sealed Hawk’s victory with a kiss (called out for great technique):

Iowa walked out the gate guns blazing in the win and never looked back.

The Hawkeyes started the game strong 10-2 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 got the ball back and quickly snapped into Iowa’s lead, trimming it from 10 to 6.

It looked as though Iowa might get away with that early, but a Jackson-Davis block on Murray was the spark the Hoosiers needed to cut back the Hawkeye’s lead, dropping it to 5 with just over 9 minutes left in the half.

However, Iowa answered with a score of 9-0, thanks to strong pass penetrations from Perkins and Patrick McCaffrey, and a 3-yard run from Sandvoort. This proved to be the death knell for Hoosiers.

And quickly, Iowa’s lead was up to 33-20 with 6:45 left in the half. Despite leading in points in the paint, Indiana left Iowa under the basket with ease, with Perkins cutting lanes with ease.

This was crucial for Iowa, which perfected and created a stellar open appearance, as success continued from behind the arc that propelled them to victory over MSU, thanks primarily to Murray. Quickly, IUa suddenly led by 17, forcing IU into a turnover with 4 minutes left in the half.

The half ended the way it played for 20 minutes: With Iowa consistently scuttling every Indiana comeback attempt, the teams headed to the locker room with Iowa leading 47-36, the most points in a Big Ten game so far in a season.

The second half started the same way it did the first, with Murray coming out of the gate, playing hard and scoring 3 straight away, and Iowa’s lead was soon again back to 15, thanks to continued power play from Perkins scoring. And in help. Paired with Murray, Iowa opened the scoring gates again, dominating the second half with an 11-0 run to take a 61-40 lead with 15:30 to play.

Indiana could do nothing to stop Murray and Perkins in any aspect of the game. Not shooting at the other end of the ground certainly didn’t help, but Murray’s deadly efficiency was as much a result of skill as Indiana forgetting how to protect him.

There wasn’t much to say from that moment on. Indiana unsuccessfully tried to cut off Iowa, but again, every time they tried, Iowa got a response. The Hoosiers trailed 66-45 with 11:15 to go, and things never got close.

Overall, it’s a very interesting game with a lot of great performances and moments. If this team can continue to play this way, who knows what the championship can achieve.

Go forth, brave ones.

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