After six of its players scored in double figures in its season opener, Iowa will look to put together another balanced effort on Friday night when it faces Alabama State in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Hawkeyes (1-0) cruised to a 110-68 victory over North Dakota on Tuesday, getting at least 10 points from all five starters and another 14 from reserve Owen Freeman. Payton Sandfort led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Ben Krikke added 18 points.
It marked the first game of a new era for Iowa, which is now without Kris Murray, who posted a team-high 20.2 points per game last season. Murray was selected 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Although the Hawkeyes no longer possess a bona fide elite scorer, coach Fran McCaffery believes the offense is still going to cause problems for opponents.
“We got a lot of weapons, lot of different guys who can make plays,” McCaffery said. “We can move guys around in our sets and create shot opportunities.”
Iowa also played lockdown defense, especially on the perimeter, where the Fighting Hawks canned just 4 of 25 3-pointers.
However, it might be harder to contain the Hornets (0-1), who had nine of their 17 made field goals come from beyond the arc in their 69-59 setback against Ole Miss on Monday.
Amarr Knox drained three of those threes to finish with 11 points, while CJ Hines and TJ Madlock each supplied 12 points. Madlock also pulled down eight rebounds.
Alabama State shot just 27.4 percent from the field, though, and coach Tony Madlock, TJ’s father, realizes his team needs to start making the most of its opportunities.
“You have to make plays. We talked about it, especially on the road, you got to (make) layups and free throws,” Tony Madlock said. “We missed so many open looks. … So we have to make sure we stay in the gym to make those shots.”
Friday marks the fifth meeting between the teams. The Hawkeyes are 4-0 against the Hornets, winning all four games in Iowa City.
–Field Level Media
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