IOWA CITY, Iowa - Iowa had 25 assists and just four turnovers in Friday’s 112-71 win over North Carolina A&T at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“We do that again, we might win more games,” quipped guard Payton Sandfort.
It was an impressive showing of offensive efficiency that showed up in different parts of the box score.
The Hawkeyes shot 51.9 percent from the field, 57.9 percent in the second half. Four players scored in double figures — Kris Murray had 22 points, Patrick McCaffery had a career-high 21, Sandfort had 17 and Filip Rebraca had 12.
“That’s a great representation of our team — a lot of unselfish guys,” Murray said.
And it wasn’t like A&T wasn’t defending the Hawkeyes.
“That team puts pressure on the ball,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “They have quickness, they have speed. They were putting heat on the dribbler. But I thought our running game was really good. Everybody was passing it well.
“A lot of guys were in double figures because we were sharing the ball.”
No one had more than one turnover.
“Pretty much everybody had a positive (assist-to-turnover ratio),” Fran McCaffery said.
The four turnovers were the third-fewest in the McCaffery era with the Hawkeyes. It was the fewest number of turnovers since the Hawkeyes had four last season in a win at Virginia.
Some other takeaways from the victory as Iowa moved to 2-0:
Iowa had 34 bench points, but the first one didn’t come until Dasonte Bowen’s second-half free throw.
It was the 79th point of the game.
The Hawkeye starters played almost all of the first half. Bowen played just 3 ½ minutes, and Ahron Ulis and Connor McCaffery played 5:02.
Fran McCaffery said he didn’t like some of the defense that was played when he began substituting, so he decided to stick with his starters.
“In fairness to those (bench) guys, I didn’t play them a lot in the first half,” he said. “In the second half, I told them at halftime, ‘You guys are going to get in, and I’m going to leave you out there.’”
Ulis and Connor McCaffery played more than 11 minutes in the second half. Bowen played almost 15.
“I think it was just confidence,” Murray said. “We got them confidence in the second half.”
PATRICK’S QUICK START
Patrick McCaffery had 10 of Iowa’s first 12 points, and his early aggressiveness got the Hawkeyes going.
He finished the game making 8-of-15 shots, including 2-of-4 in 3-pointers.
“I’ve always been a scorer,” he said. “I knew I was going to have a big night at some point. Glad it was tonight. The start always helps.”
“He’s been playing really well,” Fran McCaffery said. “It was great to see him aggressive, getting out to run. Guys were really looking for him.”
Sandfort missed just one free throw in 16 attempts last season.
He missed his first free-throw attempt of this season when called on to shoot one after a technical foul was called on A&T’s Tyrese Elliott.
“I was down there with the trainer and everyone started yelling my name,” Sandfort said. “I wasn’t ready.”
“It sucks,” he muttered, smiling.
He did make one promise.
“It won’t happen again,” Sandfort said. “You can quote me on that.”
Iowa had scoring runs of 16-0, 11-0 and 10-0.
The Hawkeyes’ 11-point scoring spurt closed the first half. They then scored 16 consecutive points after A&T had the first basket of the second half.