BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (A.P.) – Iowa came into Tuesday night game weary of playing catch-up. So, the Hawkeyes avoided the trap completely.
Just three days after a completing an historic comeback, Kris Murray scored 26 points, Tony Perkins flirted with the first triple-double in school history and the Hawkeyes never trailed in a 90-68 rout at No. 15 Indiana.
“I thought him making those first two 3-pointers was big,” coach Fran McCaffery said, referring to Murray. “I thought our ball movement and screening and cutting with a purpose was critical.”
Whatever the explanation, the Hawkeyes (19-11, 11-8 Big Ten) did everything right.
Murray made five of Iowa’s 13 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. Perkins finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight assists while returning to his home state. Flip Rebecaa and Payton Sandfod each had 16 points and the conference’s highest-scoring team also played defense.
The combination was virtually unbeatable and seemingly at the perfect time after rallying from a 13-point deficit in the final 94 seconds of regulation to beat Michigan State 112-106 in overtime Saturday — the highest-scoring Big Ten game all season. For the encore, Iowa produced the highest-scoring first half (47-36) in a conference game this season and claimed its fourth straight win in the series and it’s most lopsided ever in Bloomington.
“We’re really hitting our stride,” Murray said. “About this time last year, we were doing the same thing, winning big games that we need on the road.”
Indiana (20-10, 11-8) meanwhile, struggled all night in its worse home loss since a 20-point shellacking against Purdue Fort Wayne in December 2017..
Yes, Trayce Jackson Davis led the Hoosiers with 26 points and 13 rebounds and passed Alan Henderson and Walt Bellamy to become the school’s career rebounding leader with 1,096.
But the Hoosiers looked flat after winning at rival Purdue on Saturday, and Iowa wasted no time taking advantage.
The Hawkeyes scored the first six points, quickly extended the margin to 16-5 and still led 47-36 at halftime. The Hawkeyes then used a 14-2 second half run to make it 61-40 and continued pulling away over the final 15 1/2 minutes.
“It’s the worst day of the season for us,” Indiana coach Mike Woodson said on his postgame radio show. “They were hitting 3s, 2s, whatever they wanted. That’s not Indiana basketball and it’s unacceptable.”
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have struggled on the road all season — at least until Tuesday. This time, they built off the momentum from Saturday’s stunning comeback, at times, looked virtually unbeatable. If they can replicate this performance, the defending Big Ten Tournament champs will be a tough out again next week.
Indiana: Whatever the explanation, the Hoosiers looked lost. They had no flow and never got in sync, a stark contrast from the previous six weeks when they showed steady improvement and some real fight. Neither existed in this game and while it may be an anomaly, coach Mike Woodson knows it cannot happen again.
Jackson-Davis extended his school record for blocks to 253 with another Tuesday. He also moved within 56 points of tying Don Schlundt (2,192 points) for third on Indiana’s career scoring list. And the 48th double-double of his career puts him within one of matching Henderson for No. 3 on the school’s career list.
If Indiana thought it would skate through the first part of this week’s schedule, it was mistaken. The Hoosiers were never in the game and this kind of loss could send them tumbling, even if they salvage a win on Sunday. Iowa, meanwhile, continues to make the case it deserves a Top 25 ranking.
Iowa: Hosts Nebraska in Big Ten regular-season finale on Sunday.
Indiana: Plays its home finale Sunday against Michigan.