MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Hagen scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and Aaron Robinson keyed a second-half comeback that carried Minnesota to a 65-57 victory over Iowa on Wednesday.
Vincent Grier scored 17 points and Robinson added 14, all in the second half, to lead the Gophers (18-9, 8-6) closer to their first NCAA Tournament berth in head coach Dan Monson’s six years at Minnesota.
Adam Haluska led Iowa (16-10, 4-9) with 19 points, and Jeff Horner added 11 for the Hawkeyes, who have lost five of six since leading scorer Pierre Pierce was kicked off the team because of ongoing legal problems.
Trailing by a point at the break, Minnesota opened the second half with two straight put-back baskets by Hagen – two of his 11 offensive rebounds on the night.
Iowa regained the lead on consecutive fast-break layups by Mike Henderson. Haluska followed with consecutive inside baskets to make it an 8-0 run and a five-point Hawkeye lead.
But Robinson broke the streak with a 3-pointer, then fed Vincent Grier for an alley-oop dunk to tie the game at 36. Robinson then hit Brent Lawson for a fast-break layup and after a timeout, Robinson and Grier hit back-to-back threes for a 13-0 run.
Jeff Horner ended the run with a 3-pointer, but Robinson answered with another three on the next possession, giving Minnesota an eight-point lead with 10 minutes to play.
The Gophers pushed the lead to 10 with a possession indicative of their dominance on the boards. Lawson tracked down two missed shots by his teammates, and on Minnesota’s third chance, Grier drained a 17-foot jumper.
Minnesota’s lead grew to as much as 14 before Iowa cut it to six in the final minute, thanks to the Gophers missing the front ends of three straight one-and-ones. But J’son Stamper and Robinson combined to go 6-for-6 from the line to help the Gophers hang onto the victory.