Tony Perkins’ career high lifts Iowa men’s basketball over Maryland

The junior guard’s 22 points helped the Hawkeyes to their fourth straight victory.

Iowa+guard+Tony+Perkins+takes+a+shot+during+a+men%E2%80%99s+basketball+game+between+Iowa+and+Maryland+at+Carver-Hawkeye+Arena+in+Iowa+City+on+Sunday%2C+Jan.+15%2C+2023.+The+Hawkeyes+defeated+the+Terrapins%2C+81-67.

Jerod Ringwald

Iowa guard Tony Perkins takes a shot during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Maryland at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. The Hawkeyes defeated the Terrapins, 81-67.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor


In the three games that preceded the Iowa men’s basketball team’s 81-67 victory over Maryland Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Hawkeye junior guard Tony Perkins had scored a combined 17 points on 6-of-28 shooting from the floor.

In the win over Maryland — Iowa’s fourth in a row — the Indianapolis product netted a career-high 22 points and made 10 of his 13 shots.

The majority of Perkins’ points came on drives to the basket. 

“It was a pain,” Perkins said of his three-game slump. “ But, you know, as a player, you got to live through that, you got to dust it off your shoulders and just come back every day regardless of what you’re going through … Haven’t been really hitting a lot shots so I just said, “I’ll just make moves, get to the rim, do what I can do best, hit pull-ups, play my game and stop thinking a lot.”

Iowa forward Connor McCaffery said when Perkins’ shot is falling from the midrange, he’s hard to stop. 

“He had missed a lot of those pull-up, midrange, 10-15-footers during that stretch, normally that’s a great shot for him,” Hawkeye forward Connor McCaffery said of Perkins. “He really makes those at a high clip in practice, in prior games, and he made those today, which is huge. He’s so good at that shot and when he’s making that, it’s really hard to keep him out of the paint.”

McCaffery, who, at 6-foot-6 215 pounds, is listed on the Hawkeyes’ roster as a guard/forward, added center to his repertoire on Sunday. 

Battling foul trouble, Hawkeyes go small

In the latter part of the first half, Iowa found itself short-handed, literally. 

Both 6-foot-9 Filip Rebraca and 6-foot-8 Kris Murray — two of the three tallest active players for Sunday’s game — pickup up two fouls, so head coach Fran McCaffery decided to pull them out of the game. 

That left 6-foot-11 Riley Mulvey, who hasn’t played very many meaningful minutes this season, 6-foot-7 Payton Sandfort, and Connor McCaffery. 

Mulvey was in for a minute and a half and did not perform well. 

Connor McCaffery played center in the Hawkeyes lineup during the first half’s final minutes and in portions of the second stanza.

“I thought they really fought in that stretch,” Fran said. “I think we had five guards out there.”

Connor said his team pushed the pace, drove the ball, and hit some shots to keep the lead while playing the small lineup. 

Connor jokingly said he takes pride in being able to play center at 6-foot-6, “You’ve got to show a level of toughness,” he said smiling.

The graduate student tallied 12 points, four assists, three steals, and nine seconds on the bench Sunday.

Big picture

Sunday’s win improved Iowa to 12-6 overall and 4-3 in the conference, while Maryland dropped to 11-6 and 2-4 in Big Ten play. 

The victory extended Iowa’s win streak to four games after the Hawkeyes began the Big Ten slate 0-3 and lost three straight contests between Dec. 21 and Jan 1.

Up next

Iowa will host Northwestern on Jan. 19 at 8 p.m. The Hawkeyes blew out the Wildcats twice last season by margins of 21 in the regular season and 36 in the Big Ten Tournament. Northwestern has lost two straight games.  

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