Iowa basketball's rout of Kansas City fueled by Keegan Murray's latest career night
IOWA CITY — When Keegan Murray went to the bench with two first-half fouls and visiting Kansas City of the Summit League quickly sliced Iowa’s lead to four points, things felt a little tenuous for the first time in this young basketball season for Fran McCaffery’s Hawkeyes.
But with as an assist from a new Hawkeye familiar with the Summit League, Iowa would be just fine.
North Dakota transfer Filip Rebraca helped fuel a 10-0 half-ending run, and the Hawkeyes stormed past Kansas City for an 89-57 win Friday night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
During that 10-0 run, Rebraca was a beast on defense — recording a steal and three defensive rebounds. He also scored a sweet two-pointer in the lane to extend Iowa’s lead to 31-23. For the game, Rebraca finished with nine points and 13 rebounds.
Murray returned in the second half, and the Hawkeyes' starting five looked good for the second straight game. Rebraca corralled an offensive rebound (his 12th of the game), spun and found Murray camped out on the left wing. Murray stepped into the shot at swished the 3-pointer for a 46-28 lead with 16:07 left.
When Murray soared through the lane for a fast-break dunk and a 57-33 lead with 12:09 remaining, it was all but over.
For the game, Murray finished with a career-high 25 points, topping the 24 he registered in Tuesday's season-opening win against Longwood. Murray scored 17 of those points in the first nine minutes of the second half. He was 9-for-15 from the floor and added four rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes.
Jordan Bohannon added 13 points. He made three 3-pointers, leaving him one shy of tying the Big Ten Conference's career record of 374 3-pointers held by Ohio State's Jon Diebler. Patrick McCaffery added 10 points, and starting point guard Joe Toussaint had four points and six assists.
Iowa (2-0) returns to Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Tuesday against North Carolina-Central. That game tips off at 8 p.m. CT and will air on Big Ten Network.
Hawkeyes columnist Chad Leistikow has covered sports for 27 years with The Des Moines Register, USA TODAY and Iowa City Press-Citizen. Follow @ChadLeistikow on Twitter.