NICEVILLE, Fla. – The No. 25 University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Clemson, 74-71, on Friday night in the second round of the Emerald Coast Classic. The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 on the season.
Iowa took a 34-27 lead into halftime and led by 14 points with eight minutes left in the game. Clemson battled back late, however, drilling six of eight 3-pointers for the game in the second half.
The Hawkeyes were 24-of-30 (.800) from the free throw stripe, including 18-of-21 (.857) in the second half.
Though the Tigers tied the game twice in the final four minutes of play, junior Tony Perkins drained six straight free throws in the final 20 seconds to put the game on ice. Iowa trailed for just 12 seconds of game action on Friday.
Perkins finished with 11 points, including 9-of-10 (.900) free throw shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds, two assists and two steals through 21 minutes of game action.
Redshirt junior Patrick McCaffery led the Hawkeyes with 21 points, tying Clemson’s Chase Hunter for a game-high. McCaffery had five rebounds, one assist and a block against the Tigers.
Junior Kris Murray racked up his second double-double of the season on 10 points and 12 rebounds. Fifth-year Filip Rebraca also posted 10 rebounds to go along with nine points, as Iowa won the battle on the boards, 46-32.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“Playing really good teams, like Clemson, is what these tournaments are for. They are very well coached, very physical, deep, quick. It gives you an opportunity, us and them, to find something out about yourself. Can you play in a close game? Can you play in a tight game? They made some really big shots coming down the stretch. So did we. We executed, for the most part. We didn’t execute a couple times at both ends, and that is what helps you get better. We are all very pleased with the fact that we were able to maintain our composure and get the win…
That’s who [Tony Perkins] is. He’s a gamer. You trust him in those situations. It took him a little while to figure it out. How they were playing him, how they were playing us defensively. He got a little sideways, and then he got in foul trouble. Now he’s not in the flow like he normally is. I needed to go back to him and give him a chance to finish the game the way he did. Thankfully, he was spectacular.”
- Patrick McCaffery tied a career high with 21 points, a total that he has amassed in back to back contests. He scored 10 of Iowa’s first 15 points of the first half and nine of Iowa’s first 11 points of the second half.
- Kris Murray recorded his second double-double of the season and third of his career with 10 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
- Junior Tony Perkins returned to the lineup and scored all 11 of his points over the final 12 minutes of the game. Perkins was 9-of-10 from the foul line and made his one field goal with 95 seconds remaining in the contest to break a 64-64 tie.
- Iowa outscored Clemson 20-10 in second-chance points, including an 11-0 advantage in the first half.
- True freshman Dasonte Bowen provided a spark off the bench, registering a personal-best nine points, including two clutch buckets in the second half.
- Filip Rebraca pulled down 10 rebounds, grabbing double-digit rebounds for the third time in five games this season. He also netted nine points.
- The Hawkeyes had the edge on the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 46-32. The +14 advantage tonight is Iowa’s highest rebounding margin of the season.
Iowa returns to action tomorrow against TCU/Cal in the championship game of the Emerald Coast Classic at 6 p.m. (CT).