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In his return to the team following a personal leave for anxiety, Iowa forward Patrick McCaffery returned to the rotation on Sunday to provide a much-needed boost in the team’s 93–82 victory over Rutgers.
McCaffery entered the game with 15:31 to play in the first half to a standing ovation at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. McCaffery made his presence felt, scoring nine points with two rebounds and two assists off the bench in 13 minutes of action.
“The ovation meant a lot,” McCaffery said following the game. “It was a really emotional game, really emotional day and a really emotional couple of weeks.”
McCaffery expanded on his postgame comments as he took to social media after the game to thank all of the fans for their support.
McCaffery hadn’t played since New Year’s Day and the Hawkeyes have missed him while he was out of the lineup. McCaffery is a regular starter and his three-point shooting provides a much-needed element to the offense when he plays.
His dad, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, was thrilled to see his son back on the court and able to contribute.
“As soon as he got in, he raised up a shot and didn’t think about it,” McCaffery said. “Just really happy for him and really proud of how he’s attacked this issue. He’s been a great teammate and his teammates were great with him.”
With the win, the Hawkeyes moved to 13–8 overall and 5–5 in Big Ten play. They host visiting Northwestern on Tuesday.