Iowa Hoops – Cirque du Sandfort: Hawkeyes 93, Michigan 84 (OT)

The Iowa Hawkeyes (11-6, 3-3) overcame a profession evening from Jett Howard in a come-from-behind time beyond regulation victory in opposition to the Michigan Wolverines (9-7, 3-2), 93-84. Kris Murray scored 27 factors to guide the Hawks in a pleasant again-and-forth between two potential draft picks whereas late heroics from Payton Sandfort and a bevy of factors (26) bought the sport to time beyond regulation.

Sandfort’s heroics, let’s begin there. Down 77-72 with 1:12 left, Iowa was in rating-cease-rating vary after a Michigan turnover and promptly dialed up a set play for him to hit a 3, which he did. Unfortunately, Kobe Bufkins hit a contested jumper to get the lead again to 4. Still gotta get a cease, proper?

He sank the free throw.

Those two dots subsequent to Michigan’s title within the video? Juwan Howard referred to as one among them to arrange a press break, which they did. But with fouls to offer and the ball in Jett’s arms, Kris Murray reset Iowa’s protection with the foul. Michigan ran a set play after their final timeout to get the ball again into Howard’s arms earlier than Iowa fouled once more. Apparently that is the place Michigan’s set performs run out as a result of a Dug McDaniels iso runner fell helplessly to the bottom as time expired.

Overtime.

Sandfort continued to play nice, 5 of Iowa’s first six factors within the additional body, which allowed them to race to an 85-79 lead. His putback/and-one with 3:00 remaining was Iowa’s remaining basket which has spelled doom up to now for the Hawkeyes however a sensible foul by Sandfort despatched Hunter Dickinson to the road as an alternative of granting him a layup. He missed the primary of the following one-and-one. Iowa iced it the remainder of the best way on the line, going 8/10 and 17/22 (77.3%) on the sport.

Overall, it was one among Fran’s greatest video games of the season. In addition to drawing up performs for Sandfort and countering Howard down the stretch, he discovered the fitting lineup and it included Josh Dix – cashing in on that promise from final week – as he performed the ultimate 22:40 of the sport and was glorious all through his time on the courtroom. He was typically the purpose guard alongside Connor McCaffery and notched the primary of many double-digit video games with 10 factors and 5 assists. Crucially, he had only one turnover and solely bought circled a few times on protection.

(Dix/Connor/Sandfort/Murray performed 19 of the ultimate 21 minutes collectively, the one respite coming for Connor with a pair Tony Perkins minutes to spell him)

Kris Murray did his half in matching Jett Howard’s atomic evening. 27 factors on a profession-excessive 22 photographs (I believed he settled a bit an excessive amount of for threes after beginning sizzling however extremely minute criticism), and was nice as a assist defender. Three blocks, a steal, and eight defensive rebounds.

Howard made his first six photographs – 5 threes – which have been jumpstarted by a stroll-up three you simply cannot let him have. His first miss was a block by Murray on the primary possession he guarded him in man-to-man (about 11 minutes too late). He had 21 factors at half and 34 on the sport, though his shot fell wayyy off as the sport went on. He went simply 4/11 within the second half and time beyond regulation as he seemed gassed with about 5 minutes remaining in regulation. I suppose chasing Connor for 45 minutes will do this. And Connor does deserve credit score for making Howard’s life hell sufficient for him to grow to be a non-issue down the stretch.

Worth a point out earlier than wrapping this up: Riley Mulvey performed massive minutes off the bench as Filip Rebrača discovered himself in foul bother. Four factors and two rebounds and looking out about pretty much as good as you possibly can count on in 13 minutes. Good for him!

This workforce appears prefer it has the juice, as the youngsters say. Sandfort’s surge got here on the excellent time and makes the offense click on in a manner it simply did not earlier than. The protection performed effectively sufficient when it wanted to in entrance of an awesome Carver-Hawkeye crowd.

Next up: Sunday, 1/15, at 3:30p vs. Maryland Terrapins

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