Payton Sandfort, Iowa outdistance Kansas State in NIT opener

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 20 Mar, 2024 at 06:50 AM

Credit: Julia Hansen/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Payton Sandfort scored a career-high 30 points as Iowa defeated Kansas State 91-82 on Tuesday night in the first round in the NIT in Iowa City, Iowa. Sandfort also led the Hawkeyes with 12 rebounds.

The Hawkeyes advanced to the second round of tournament and will face Utah, which beat UC Irvine 84-75 Tuesday night.

The Hawkeyes (19-14) also got 24 points and 11 rebounds from Ben Krikke, and Owen Freeman chipped in 10 points.

Dai Dai Ames led Kansas State (19-15) with 16 points. The Wildcats also got 15 points and seven rebounds from Will McNair Jr., 13 points from Cam Carter and 12 points and seven boards from David N'Guessan. Leading scorer Tylor Perry was held to just eight points, seven below his average, on 2-of-13 shooting from the field. He went 2-of-12 from 3-point range.

Kansas State lost its ninth straight true road game of the season.

After Iowa scored the first bucket of the second half to take a 13-point lead, Kansas State went on a 10-0 run to make it 52-49. But the Wildcats could get no closer.

The first half was all about Sandfort. He hit his first three 3-point attempts as Iowa built an 11-6 lead. He went into double figures with a pair of free throws that gave the Hawkeyes a 13-8 lead just over four minutes into the game.

When Sandfort left the game briefly with 12:11 remaining in the first half, he had 17 points -- outscoring Kansas State. He finished the first half with 22 points on 5-of-6 from 3-point range. He also led the Hawkeyes with seven rebounds.

The Hawkeyes led 50-39 at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field. The biggest advantage was from the free-throw line, where the Hawkeyes were 15-of-21, while the Wildcats were a mere 3-of-3.

The Hawkeyes also got eight points from Patrick McCaffrey and seven each from Tony Perkins and Freeman in the half. The Wildcats got points from nine players in the half, led by seven from Macaleab Rich.

--Field Level Media