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Indiana Coach Mike Woodson: Hawkeyes ‘just came in here and kicked our ass’
Hawkeyes are entering March like lions after devouring the 15th-ranked Hoosiers, 90-68
(This story was written in Cedar Rapids.)
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana men’s basketball fans started leaving Assembly Hall during the last media timeout Tuesday, and unlike last Saturday in Iowa City, no one regretted their early departure.
Iowa jumped on the Hoosiers from the opening jump ball, and put on an offensive show that looked like an extension of their late-game fireworks three days earlier when they beat Michigan State in overtime, 112-106.
The Hawkeyes shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first half, made their first six shots after that, and rolled to a 90-68 win over the 15th-ranked Hoosiers. The 22-point victory was Iowa’s largest at Indiana since 1947.
Iowa improved to 11-8 in the Big Ten, tied for fourth with Indiana. The Hawkeyes play Nebraska in Iowa City Sunday at 1 p.m. in their sold-out regular-season finale.
The Hawkeyes are 19-11 overall, the Hoosiers 20-10. Iowa defeated Indiana for the fourth time in the last 14 months.
Iowa junior guard Tony Perkins, playing in his home state, was superb. Perkins nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight assists. Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery, who tied Tom Davis for first place in Big Ten regular-season wins at the school with 126, raved about Perkins.
“When you talk about tough guys, tough guys aren’t guys who want to square off,” McCaffery said during his postgame press conference. “Tough guys make plays and they come back if they make a mistake, and they come back if they miss a shot. They fight you on defense. They fight you on the glass. They drive the ball. And they understand the game.
“If he’s open he drives it, if there’s space he drives it, if he’s covered, he moves it.
“He is a player in every sense of the word. I’m thrilled for him, he had about 35 family members here today.”
Kris Murray led the Hawkeyes with 26 points. Murray opened the game’s scoring with a pair of 3-pointers in the first 1:12 and had eight points as his team went up 12-2 three minutes into the contest.
“I thought him hitting those two 3s early was big,” McCaffery said.
Iowa scored on its first seven possessions as it went up 16-5. Indiana pulled back within 24-20, but Iowa answered by scoring 10 straight points. In that run, Perkins made a jumper, fed Patrick McCaffery for a basket on a back cut, then scored off a similar cut himself on Iowa’s next possession.
The Hawkeyes led 47-36 at halftime. Indiana scored first in the second half, but Murray then scored nine points in an 18-4 Iowa run for a 65-43 lead with 13:17 left, and the game was never closer than 19 points after that.
Iowa shot 60.7 percent from the field in the first half and 55.6 overall. The Hawkeyes sank 13 of 23 3-point tries, giving them 30 3s over the last two games.
Filip Rebraca and Payton Sandfort scored 16 points each for Iowa. Murray and Sandfort made five 3-pointers apiece. Sandfort has 11 3s over his last two games. He blew a kiss to the Indiana student section after his final basket, drawing a technical foul.
Sandfort laughed about it on the sideline. Indiana was 2-of-11 from 3-point, and was out-rebounded 39-27. Its players and head coach Mike Woodson did no laughing. Woodson got his own technical foul late in the game.
The Hoosiers got no bounce from their 79-71 win at state-rival Purdue last Saturday night.
“We just we left our game in West Lafayette, and it's just unacceptable the way we played tonight,” Woodson said. (His complete press conference remarks are here.) “You know, I apologize to our fans. You know, I'm the coach. I've got to get them ready to play, and that was a bullshit performance tonight.”
Indiana All-America candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis had 26 points and 13 rebounds, but he got little help in either department.
“(The Hawkeyes) had their way doing everything they wanted to do,” Woodson said. “They just competed, man. They came in here and kicked our ass. It was just that simple.”
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