Iowa men’s basketball defeats Seton Hall in first road test of season

The Hawkeyes used a 19-3 run in the first half to get a lead they would never relinquish.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa forward Kris Murray shoots a 3-pointer during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and North Carolina A&T at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Murray scored 22 points in the game. The Hawkeyes defeated the Aggies, 112-71.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

After falling behind Seton Hall, 10-2, in the first 3:55 of Wednesday night’s battle between the Hawkeyes and Pirates, the Iowa basketball team went on a 19-3 scoring run and built a 21-13 lead. The Hawkeyes never trailed again and defeated Seton Hall, 83-67. 

Prior to Iowa’s first road game this season and first contest against a Power Five opponent, Hawkeye head coach Fran McCaffery stressed the importance of taking care of the ball against a Pirates defense that had forced 23 and 19 turnovers in its first two games of the season, respectively.

Iowa only turned the ball over eight times on the night and recorded just three giveaways in the first 20 minutes. 

“When you play a team that really comes after you the way they do with defensive pressure, with physicality … You have to be able to handle that without turning it over,” McCaffery told reporters postgame. “We only had eight turnovers. I consider our team a  really good ball-handling team, we led the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio last year. We move and share the ball. 

“Well, they don’t make it easy. You know, so we sometimes had to keep it on the bounce a little bit longer than normal, guys aren’t open as easily or quickly. Then you gotta go make buckets through contact, and we did that.”

Instead, the Hawkeyes flipped the script and forced 16 Seton Hall turnovers.

Defensive intensity

Along with the turnovers, the Hawkeye defense held the Pirates to just 35.8 percent shooting on the night, Seton Hall’s lowest mark of the season by nearly 10 percentage points. 

Iowa outscored Seton Hall in the paint, 38-32 and Hawkeye senior forward Filip Rebraca blocked four shots. 

Murray ties career high

Offensively for Iowa, junior forward Kris Murray led the way with a career-high-tying 29 points. He went 10-of-20 from the field, 3-of-8 behind the arc, and made all six of his free throw attempts. 

Murray added 11 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. 

“The thing about him is he just never rattles, he just plays,” McCaffery said of Murray. “You know, you can get physical with him, you can rotate guys with him, he’s just gonna keep doing what he does. He can go off the bounce, he can make threes, he rebounds the ball. Twenty-nine and 11 is a pretty good night on the road against a very physical and athletic team.”

Junior guard Tony Perkins, junior forward Patrick McCaffery, and Rebraca each joined Murray in double figures, contributing 18, 11, and 10 points respectively. Like Murray, Rebraca also grabbed 11 boards. Rebraca has two double-doubles in the Hawkeyes’ first three games.

Big picture

Iowa’s victory moves the Hawkeyes to 3-0 on the season and 1-0 against Power Five opponents. The matchup against Seton Hall was part of the annual Gavitt Games — a series of contests featured Big Ten and Big East teams. Iowa is now 1-2 all-time in the series. 

Up next

The Hawkeyes will return home to face the Omaha Mavericks on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena before heading to Florida for the Emerald Coast Classic.