DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa Wolves kept its playoff hopes alive Thursday night with a 111-106 win over Oklahoma City at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa (14-17) and Oklahoma City (15-19) have a quick turnaround as the teams will play again Friday night at 7 p.m. CT inside Wells Fargo Arena. The Wolves need to win the rematch Friday and have the Santa Cruz Warriors defeat the Stockton Kings on Saturday night to secure the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The loss eliminated the Blue from the playoffs.
McKinley Wright IV tallied his second-straight points/assists double-double with 27 points and 11 assists while Melvin Frazier Jr. recorded a double-double with 15 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. Matt Lewis just missed his own double-double with 20 points and nine rebounds.
Brandon Sampson scored 23 points with 18 coming in the first half that helped Iowa erase a double-digit deficit and instead lead by seven at halftime. Isaiah Miller had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
With postseason on the line for both teams it was a tightly contested and back-and-forth contest with 13 lead changes and four ties. Scotty Hopson, who led Oklahoma City with 23 points, put the Blue up four at 100-96 with just under four minutes left in the game. But Iowa chipped away and completed the comeback helped by six points from Wright IV down the stretch and four free throws by Lewis. Sampson added a basket in the closing run and Malik Benlevi did too. Benlevi made his first start of the regular season and finished with 11 points.
Friday night is the final regular season game for Iowa. It will be Mental Health Awareness Night Presented by MercyOne with the team’s special themed jerseys auctioned off to benefit NAMI. It will also be Fan Appreciation Night with the first 1,000 fans receiving an Alpha Bobblehead. Fans can stick around for a postgame autograph session with a special team commemorative poster with basketball cards of the 2022 roster available for fans!