Iowa hadn’t lost back-to-back games all year, but after their loss to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Tuesday night, that was a stat that ceased to exist. Iowa was coming off a loss last Saturday to the Wisconsin Badgers and were looking to rediscover their focus after what happened with fans and Zach McCabe via Twitter after that game against Wisconsin, but instead they forgot to bring their defense with them in a 95-89 loss to the Gophers.
The pace was fast right from the get go. Mike Gesell was the catalyst for the first 7 or 8 minutes, but Roy Devyn Marble would soon take over for Iowa. However, that was not until later on in the first half. Before Marble went on his little run, the Gophers went on a 27-9 run from about the 7:32 mark until there were :55 seconds left. During that stretch Iowa made just two field goals. Luckily for them, Marble went on a 6-0 run to close the lead to 4 before halftime.
Minnesota’s first half numbers were video-game-like. The Gophers shot 70% from the field and 82% from behind the arc. They seriously could not miss, and there were some of them who did not miss. Austin Hollins was 6-6 from the field, 4-4 from three point land, and 2-2 at the line. He literally did not miss in the first half.
The second half started and you had to think that Minnesota would cool off, well they did, it just took them a little while to do so.
Iowa played virtually no defense for about 34 minutes of the game and when they decided they’d show up, it was too late. Minnesota didn’t record a field goal in the final 8 minutes of the game, but Iowa had already dug themselves too deep and the game was out of reach. Minnesota would hit their free throws and close out the Hawkeyes.
Minnesota’s final numbers ended at 61% from the field, 58% from the three point line, and 83% at the charity stripe. While they weren’t as impressive as the first half numbers, it was still very imposing stuff from the Gophers.
Iowa’s Marble led them with 24 points and 6 assists, while Aaron White collected 21 points and 9 rebounds.
Minnesota was led by Austin Hollins, who recorded a career high 27 points on 8-10 shooting, and DeAndre Mathieu who had 19 points and 7 assists for coach Pitino’s ball team.
Iowa will now have one off day and then will visit the Indiana Hoosiers in that make up game from back on February 18th. If Iowa isn’t careful, they could find themselves on a three game losing streak coming back home because Indiana is a very tough team at home.
That game is scheduled to tip at 8:00 p.m. CT in Bloomington.