Iowa men’s basketball defeats No. 15 Indiana for second time this season

The Hawkeyes blew out the Hoosiers, 90-68, at Assembly Hall Tuesday night.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa guard Tony Perkins takes a shot during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Saturday, Feb. 4, 2023. Perkins scored 32 points. The Hawkeyes defeated the Illini, 81-79.

Chris Werner, Assistant Sports Editor

The Iowa men’s basketball team scored 12 of the first 14 points Tuesday night against the 15th-ranked Indiana Hoosiers at Assembly Hall in Bloomington and never looked back. 

Although Indiana cut the deficit to 21-18 with 10:58 left in the first half, Iowa never relinquished the lead and was up by double digits for nearly the entire second half. The Hawkeyes took home a 90-68 victory — the third-largest margin of defeat for the home team in the history of Assembly Hall. 

Indiana had boasted a 14-1 record at home this season before facing the Hawkeyes. 

The only time the Hoosiers got the Hawkeye advantage under 10 points in the final 28:31 of game clock was when a Trayce Jackson-Davis dunk to open the second half made it 47-38. Iowa’s Kris Murray hit one of his five 3-pointers at the 18:54 mark of the second stanza to put Iowa up by 12. 

Balanced offense

Although Murray led the Hawkeyes with 26 points on the night, four Iowa players scored at least 16.

Big man Filip Rebraca, and sharpshooter Payton Sandfort pitched in 16 apiece, while point guard Tony Perkins notched 23 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists. His rebounding and assists totals were each season-highs. 

“We were just running motion [offense,]” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said postgame. “Drive and kick, screen, and cut, and curl and back cut. Move around and then find people. And we got some back-cut layups, throughout the whole game, we had some opportunities where Tony Perkins had space to drive it. But that’s after we moved it. I thought our ball movement and our screening and cutting with a purpose was critical.”

While in that motion offense Iowa found success from behind the 3-point line — something it hasn’t found on the road very often this season. 

After shooting a combined 6-for-52 in their previous two road games, the Hawkeyes exploded to convert 13 of their 23 attempts from deep on Tuesday. 

Both Murray and Sandfort made five triples on the night. 

The only players who shot less than 50 percent from beyond the arc were Connor and Patrick McCaffery, each missing their only attempt of the night. 

“You go on the road, you make 13 threes, that’s hard to do,” Fran McCaffery said. “We had a bunch of different guys making them, so you make 13 threes, good shot to win.”

Big picture

The Hawkeyes’ win moves them to 19-11 overall and 11-8 in conference play. With one regular season game remaining, Iowa is now tied for fifth with Indiana in the Big Ten. There are three teams currently at 11-7, above the Hawkeyes and Hoosiers by a half-game. Each conference team will play 20 Big Ten regular season games. 

In next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, the top four teams in the regular season standings receive a double-bye into the quarterfinals, and the next six receive a first-round bye. 

Before Tuesday’s victory, Iowa was projected as a No. 8 seed in the latest ESPN bracketology, but a convincing win over a ranked Hoosier squad may improve that mark. 

Up next

The Hawkeyes will close out the regular season Sunday, March 5 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at 1 p.m. Nebraska, sitting in 12th place in the conference standings with an 8-10 Big Ten record, handed the Hawkeyes a 66-50 loss on Dec. 29, 2022, in Lincoln.