Iowa realizes the competition level on its schedule is about to climb.
After the team hosts Portland State on Friday, a trip to Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge awaits Monday. The Hawkeyes then jump into Big Ten play at the end of next week.
Aiming to close their lengthy, season-opening homestand with a perfect record, the Hawkeyes (5-0) hardly are letting up as they prepare for Portland State.
“We just have to keep playing head-on,” Iowa’s Tony Perkins said. “We’ve been playing great and we have to continue that, getting steals and pressing.”
With circumstances in the frontcourt keeping Patrick McCaffery (lower leg) and Josh Ogundele (non-COVID-19illness) out of the game, the Hawkeyes benefited from 63 points off the bench during Monday’s 109-61 rout of Western Michigan.
Keegan Murray scored Iowa’s first 17 points en route to a career-high 29. Payton Sandfort added 19 points, including 5-for-7 accuracy from 3-point range, while Perkins (15) and Kris Murray (12) also finished in double figures.
Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said Patrick McCaffery and Ogundele are expected back against Portland State. In the meantime, the coach lauded the team’s expanding rotation, saying, “They don’t play like a young group even though they’re young.”
Horrendous shooting plagued Portland State during Tuesday’s 69-54 home loss to crosstown rival Portland. The Vikings finished just 31.5 percent (23 of 73) from the field, including 2 of 23 from long range.
Although Portland State (2-2) snagged 14 offensive rebounds, the team hoped to capitalize for more than 18 second-chance points.
“It was one of those nights, I feel like it was self-inflicted for us,” Vikings coach Jase Coburn said. “We missed a lot of shots and had a lot of offensive rebounds. We had a lot of looks we wanted and just couldn’t convert them. We’ll bounce back and be all right.”
James Jean-Marie has helped inspire such confidence in his coach. With a season-best 17 points against Portland to go with 10 rebounds, Jean-Marie has notched a double-double in each of the Vikings’ games this season.
–Field Level Media