The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa men’s basketball defeats North Dakota, 110-68, behind accurate shooting and disruptive defense

The 110 points are the most for a Hawkeyes’ season-opener in the Fran McCaffery era.
Gabby Drees
Iowa guard Dasonte Bowen looks to pass the ball during a men’s exhibition basketball game between Iowa and Truman State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City on Monday, Oct. 31, 2022. Bowen led the team in assists with eight. Iowa defeated Truman State, 118-72.

The Iowa men’s basketball team defeated North Dakota, 110-68, in the Hawkeyes’ season-opening game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday. Getting off to a hot start from behind the arc, Iowa never looked back, cruising for a 42-point victory behind a 53 percent mark from the field. 

After starting the contest with five straight runs, the Hawkeyes poured it on early, led by third-year forward Sandfort’s 13 points in the opening six minutes of play. Hailing from Waukee, Iowa, Sandfort, hit three shots from behind the arc during his burst.

In his postgame media availability, Sandfort said the team wanted to improve from Iowa’s slow start in their exhibition game against Quincy when the Hawkeyes didn’t score for the opening two minutes.

“We were talking about how we wanted to come out and punch them in the mouth,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way we did that.”

Scoring eight points off of North Dakota turnovers, Iowa was 75 percent from three-point range by the time the Hawkeye second unit arrived on the court. 

That group, composed of second-year guard Josh Dix and first-years Brock Harding, Owen Freeman, Pryce Sandfort, and Ladji Dembele, went on a 9-0 before conceding a layup to North Dakota’s Grady Danielson. Six of those nine tallies came from Freeman, all in the paint. The six-foot-10 forward from Moline, Illinois, dropped in a layup, slammed home a dunk on a Harding assist, and capped off his run with a left-handed hook shot. 

“He’s special. He can run. He’s active,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of Freeman. “I want to see him be a little more aggressive blocking shots, but he came close on a couple. He was hugging his man a little bit, [I want him to] scoot over and be a presence [in the lane]. But he’s got good ball skills, handling, and passing.”

During a dry spell in which Iowa was 0-for-8 from the field, Iowa employed a full-court press with less than ten minutes to go in the half, securing a ten-second violation with 4:40 remaining in the opening half. After that call, the Hawkeyes went on a 17-10 run to lead, 56-32 at halftime. Forcing 13 turnovers from the Hawks, the Hawkeye “D” shined, such as when Iowa guard Dasonte Bowen stripped his opponent on the press and took the ball to the hole for a layup. 

Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Bowen finished with a team-high plus 39, while notching two steals and five assists.

“His decision-making, his stamina, playing defense the way he does, he always sticks his nose in there and rebounds,” McCaffery said of the Bowen. “So, really impressed with him.”

After 20 minutes of play, Iowa was outrebounded, 23-20, and had rather abnormal shooting percentages, hitting 41.6 percent of their shots overall but going 50 percent from three-point land. 

Starting off the second half, Iowa went on a 17-12 run over the first five minutes, the Iowa second unit again got off to a hot start, this time with an 8-0 run led by Freeman’s four points in the paint. Yet the group still showed their inexperience, as Harding threw a ball off a teammate’s feet on an out-of-bounds play and Freeman racked up three fouls. 

Payton Sandfort capped off his double-double performance with a crowd-arousing dunk. Faking a shot in the corner, he took two dribbles and jammed down a right-handed jam. Following that possession was an and-one layup from Bowen to uphold the 20-plus point lead. 

Forcing 19 total turnovers, the Hawkeyes had just seven, conceding only one over the first 24 minutes of the game.

After Freeman hit his seventh shot on eight attempts, Iowa found themselves at 104 points, increasing their 24-point halftime lead to 38.

Similar to its performance against Quincy, Iowa thrived in transition, outpacing North Dakota in fast break points, 27-3, and scoring 31 points off turnovers. For fifth-year forward Ben Krikke, transition offense is something. the Hawkeyes work on at the start of every practice.

“We’ve worked on sprinting the floor every single day, to get into positons, posted up early, and I think a lot of teams with that,” he said. “You know, they get tired and we just don’t.”

It was a tough shooting night for Hawkeye guard Tony Perkins, who shot just 3-of-11 and didn’t make a field goal till his ninth attempt. Harding coughed up three turnovers and was the only Hawkeye to finish with a negative plus/minus ranking. 

After media availability was over, Harding, donning headphones, was seen alone on the court, still in full uniform, getting up shots. Such discipline is something Payton Sandfort said isn’t uncommon for this group of Hawkeyes.

“This is really one of the most hardworking teams I’ve ever been around,” he explained. “People are constantly in in the mornings, coming in throughout the day [for individual work] … We have a lot of good players and I don’t think a lot of people know that, really how deep we are.”

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About the Contributors
Matt McGowan
Matt McGowan, Pregame Editor
he/him/his Matt McGowan is The Daily Iowan's Pregame Editor. He is a sophomore double majoring in journalism and mass communications and American studies with a minor in sport studies.  This is his second year with the DI
Gabby Drees, Photojournalist/Videographer
Email: [email protected] Gabby Drees is a photo editor and film maker at The Daily Iowan. She is a sophomore at the University of Iowa majoring in journalism and political science.