Barely 24 hours after missing 19 of its first 20 shots from 3-point range, and being held to a season low in points, the Iowa men’s basketball team rediscovered its offense at the expense of Seton Hall.
The Hawkeyes built a double-digit lead in the first half and then withstood a second-half rally by Seton Hall to win 85-72 in the consolation game of the Rady Children’s Invitational on Friday in San Diego.
Friday’s victory came a day after Iowa only made 4-of-23 shots from 3-point range in a 79-67 loss to Oklahoma in the semifinals. All but one of Iowa’s made 3-pointers against Oklahoma came in the final three minutes when the outcome was all but decided.
On Friday, however, the Hawkeyes came out aggressive on offense and built an 18-point lead before halftime.
Seton Hall finished the first half on a roll, however, making five of its last six field-goal attempts, including a 3-pointer from about 30 feet right before the buzzer that narrowed the gap to 44-33 at the break.
Iowa shot 60 percent from the field in the first half, making 18-of-30 field-goal attempts, while the Pirates only shot 28 percent from the field in the first half despite making five of their last six shots.
Junior forward Payton Sandfort led four Iowa players in doubles with 22 points, while graduate transfer forward Ben Krikke had 19, including 13 in the first half.
Seton Hall trimmed the deficit to five points late in the second half, but Iowa withstood the run and would go on to build another double-digit lead.
Iowa improved to 4-2 and will face North Florida in its next game on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa made 7-of-19 shots from 3-point range in Friday game as Payton Sandfort connected on four of his 10 attempts. He also made all four of his free throws attempts and led Iowa with nine rebounds.
The win is Fran McCaffery’s 265th as Iowa’s head coach, seven wins shy of becoming the winningest coach in school history.
Friday’s game was also the fifth time in six games this season that Iowa has had at least four players reach double figures in scoring.