Filip Rebraca had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Iowa used a big start to beat No. 20 Iowa State 75-56 on Thursday night, giving coach Fran McCaffery his 500th career victory.
McCaffery, in his 27th season as a head coach and his 13th at Iowa, was hugged by sons Connor and Patrick, who started Thursday, as the final seconds ran off.
The locker room celebration was a lot more rowdy.
“Did you notice I don’t have the same clothes on?” McCaffery said with a smile at his postgame news conference. “Every single piece of clothing was wet.”
McCaffery tried to downplay the milestone, but he did admit it was special being able to share the moment with his sons.
“I don’t consider myself having 500 wins,” he said. “I’ve been blessed. I’ve worked with great people, I’ve coached great players, had great (assistant) coaches). You think about family. It’s been an interesting journey, a difficult one at times.”
Iowa (7-2) scored the first 15 points and led by 29 in the second half, coming out with plenty of energy despite just one day of preparation for the game. The Hawkeyes, who lost to Duke on Tuesday night, arrived home at 5 a.m. on Wednesday.
“It was challenging,” Rebraca said. “We were tired. But who cares? Who cares if we were tired?”
The Hawkeyes were without leading scorer and rebounder Kris Murray, who missed the game with a left leg injury suffered in Tuesday’s game. Murray averages 19.4 points and 10.1 rebounds and is a 50% shooter.
Rebraca was 9 of 11 from the field, while Patrick McCaffery had 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting, with all but three of his points came in the second half.
Rebraca, in his second year with the Hawkeyes after playing three seasons at North Dakota, had two 3-pointers in the game after making just one last season.
“I felt like he was the more physical guy,” Iowa State coach T.J. Otzelberger said. “He had great intent with how he played.”
“I felt like I went out there and made plays,” Rebraca said. “Coach needed me to step up, and I’m here to do it.”
Connor McCaffery, who started in Murray’s place, had 14 points. Tony Perkins had 10 points.
The Hawkeyes broke out of a 3-point shooting slump by hitting 12 of 23. They had shot just 24.4% from behind the arc in the last four games.
“They had great confidence early and it carried over,” Otzelberger said.
The Cyclones (7-2) missed their first seven shots and 10 of their first 11. They shot 40.7% from the field for the game, going 3 of 22 on 3-pointers.
“I think every game that’s your intention — to play defense with that kind of intensity,” Fran McCaffery said. “We set the tone defensively, and that helps get your offense going.”
“We wanted to come out and show who we are,” Rebraca said. “We were up in their space.”
Gabe Kalscheur led Iowa State with 12 points. Robert Jones each had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Tamin Lipsey had 11 points.
Iowa State: The Cyclones, playing their first road game of the season, had plenty of momentum coming into this game off a 71-60 win over St. John’s on Sunday, but they were taken out of this game early and never recovered. With no shooting from the perimeter, it was hard for Iowa State to get any offense going until late in the game. “First time on the road for us, and it seemed like I got to us,” Otzelberger said.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes showed the balance of their offense in Murray’s absence. Rebraca, who recorded his third double-double of the season, has been a steady performer, and he was a contributor in multiple ways — he also had four assists. Fran McCaffery said after the game he doesn’t expect Murray to play in Sunday’s Big Ten opener against Wisconsin.
Iowa State: Hosts McNeese on Sunday.
Iowa: Hosts Wisconsin on Sunday.
Iowa 75, #20 Iowa State 56 (Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series)
- The win was Fran McCaffery’s 500th victory as a head coach.
- Iowa has won five of the last seven meetings against the Cyclones, include four straight at home.
- Senior Filip Rebraca notched his third double-double of the season and 22nd of his career, totaling a game and season-high 22 points and 11 rebounds.
- Senior Connor McCaffery netted a season-high 14 points, while junior Ahron Ulis cleared a personal-best seven rebounds.
- Iowa’s leading scorer (19.4) and rebounder (10.1), Kris Murray, did not play tonight due to injury.
- Iowa scored the first 15 points and outscored Iowa State 20-2 to start the game. The Hawkeyes held the Cyclones scoreless the first six minutes.
- Iowa made 10 3-pointers before the Cyclones made their first (15:16 – 2nd half). Iowa started each half making its first two 3-point attempts. All five Iowa starters made multiple triples, including Filip Rebraca equaling a career high with two.
- The Hawkeyes finished the game making 12 three-pointers (nine more than Iowa State). Iowa has made nine or more triples in all five home games this season.
- Iowa improved to 5-0 at home this season.