Iowa men take care of business

IOWA CITY (AP) — Tony Perkins had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds, Payton Sandfort scored 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and grabbed 10 rebounds and Iowa pulled away late in the first half to beat Maryland Baltimore County by a final score of 103-81 Wednesday night.

Sandfort was 7-of-12 shooting and had six assists. Ben Krikke, who made 8 of 11 from the field, added 17 points and 12 boards, Patrick McCaffery scored 14 points and Brock Harding finished with 10 points, 12 assists and four steals for Iowa (7-5).

“Our defense was horrendous to start the game. Unacceptable,” Hawkeye head coach Fran McCaffery said. “We have to be better than that defensively. That was as bad of a defensive effort as we’ve had in a long time.

“Luckily, it wasn’t for 40 minutes.”

Khydarius Smith scored seven points in a 9-2 run as the Hawkeyes went three minutes without a made field goal and UMBC (5-9) led 26-21 with eight minutes left in the first half.

After Perkins made two free throws, McCaffery threw down a dunk to end the drought and Iowa scored 27 of the final 37 first-half points to take a 50-36 advantage into halftime.

The Retrievers trailed by double figures the rest of the way.

Dion Brown made 5 of 6 from 3-point range and scored 23 points to lead UMBC and Smith finished with 20 points.

UMBC, which has lost four games in a row and five of its last six, shot 46% (32 of 69) from the field and made 13 of 25 (52%) from 3-point range but had a minus-11 turnover margin as Iowa scored 23 points off 15 Retrievers turnovers.

Iowa, which went into the game averaging 10.5 turnovers per game (No. 48 nationally), committed a season-low four.

The Hawkeyes assisted on 15 of its 20 field goals in the first half and 33 of 42 field goals in the game. The 33 assists are a season high, and one shy of the single-game school record.

Harding’s 12 assists are the most by a Hawkeye freshman since Jordan Bohannon’s 13 against TCU in 2017 in the NIT. He has three games with seven or more assists this season. The 12 assists are the most by a Hawkeye this season.

UMBC plays host to American on Dec. 29. Iowa wraps up a four-game home stand against Northern Illinois on Dec. 29.