Murray Twins take over for Hawkeyes in win over Utah State

Keegan Murray finished with a career-high 35 points and Kris Murray tied a personal-best with 17 in a comfortable win over Utah State on Saturday.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa center Josh Ogundele, forward Kris Murray and forward Keegan Murray pose on the bench during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Longwood at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021. The Murray twins shot a combined 15-19 with 40 total points.The Hawkeyes defeated the Lancers 106-73.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

The Iowa men’s basketball team bounced back from its three-game losing streak with a comfortable, 94-75, win over Utah State at the Sanford Pentagon in South Dakota on Saturday.

The Hawkeyes shot over 50 percent from the floor in the win over the Aggies and managed to shoot the ball with a consistency that was missing the last three games. After a back-and-forth first half in which both teams managed to score with ease, an 8-0 run by the Hawkeyes in the final two minutes to close the half helped Iowa build some momentum to take into the break. 

A 9-3 run for Iowa coming out of half time meant the Hawkeyes managed to flip a tied game into a 16 point lead over Utah State. The Hawkeyes never looked back the rest of the game, and the Aggies only closed the lead down to nine points once the rest of the contest. 

Keegan Murray was a big reason for the strong offensive performance with a career-high 35 points, but his twin brother Kris Murray contributed 17 points and four rebounds, as well.

Each member of the starting five stepped up in their own way. Patrick McCaffery and Jordan Bohannon shot the ball efficiently and both hit double digits in points. Filip Rebraca and Joe Toussaint hit their shots when called upon and played consistently.

Iowa struggled at times defensively, but the stops in the 17-3 run on either side of halftime proved to be enough as Iowa’s offense got back to their best against Utah State. 

Big Picture

Iowa moves to 9-4 on the year and picks up an important neutral site win over a solid Utah State team and will help their argument for an NCAA Tournament bid. 

Murray Twins Combine for 52 

Keegan Murray was back to his best for Iowa basketball. Murray shot 13-of-17 from the floor in a career-high 35 point effort for Iowa. Murray consistently dominated in the interior and created great looks for himself throughout the game. Murray also contributed with seven rebounds, an assist and two steals. His brother Kris also had a strong game tonight with 17 points off the bench, tying a career-high points total he set against Alabama State. Kris was also efficient shooting the basketball, shooting 75 percent from the floor in the win in his 19 minutes of action. 

Hawkeyes Dominate the Glass

During Iowa’s three game losing streak, the Hawkeyes were consistently getting beat on the glass. The team was outrebounded by 15 in three straight games and could not keep up with the stronger and more athletic players on Purdue, Illinois and Iowa State. Tonight, Iowa found a spark on the glass as they outrebounded the Aggies 35-23. The Hawkeyes only gave up two offensive rebounds all game, which allowed Iowa to get 13 more shots during the game than Utah State. This could be a turning point for the Hawkeyes rebounding woes as they will look to continue to build off such an impressive performance. 

Up Next

Iowa basketball returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Monday for a game against Southeast Louisiana. The Hawkeyes tip-off at 7 p.m. and the game can be streamed on the BTN+.