Feb. 3, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS — Austin Hollins’ 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference in No. 23 Minnesota’s 62-59 victory over the University of Iowa men’s basketball team Sunday afternoon at Williams Arena.
“We definitely have to give him credit,” said freshman Mike Gesell. “We have to do a better job of not giving up a 3 in that situation. We’re up two, the worst thing we have to do there is give up a two. The 3 is the last thing you want to give up. He hit big-time shot, but we had our chances.”
“We really don’t want to give up a clean 3, by their best 3-point shooter in that situation,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “That said if the shot goes in and out, we win the game probably.”
Hollins then made his presence felt on the defensive end of the floor when he stripped UI freshman Mike Gesell when he was elevating for a jumper. Andre Hollins then made two free throws to push the margin to three points, and Gesell’s last ditch effort to extend the contest clanked off the left iron to send the Gophers to the victory.
“I had the pull-up jumper, and it was good defense, he stripped me clean,” said Gesell. “I tried to dive on the ball and get the timeout, but I stepped out of bounds.”
“Mike had a really good look at it at the buzzer,” said McCaffery. “I thought that was in, and that would have put it into overtime.”
Iowa falls to 14-8 overall and 3-6 in Big Ten play; Minnesota improves to 17-5 overall and 5-4 in conference play.
The momentum started to turn in Iowa’s favor with five minutes remaining when junior Aaron White’s three-point play gave Iowa a 54-50 lead, and two Anthony Clemmons free throws put the Hawkeyes up 56-53 with 3:05 remaining.
Iowa had an opportunity to take control when its full court pressure forced a turnover on the ensuing possession, but the team came away empty when three point blank looks wouldn’t fall. Minnesota turned the tide when it grabbed the rebound and found Rodney Williams streaking for a breakaway dunk to make the score 56-55 with 2:43 remaining.
Senior Eric May gave Iowa a much-needed lift when he muscled in a layup and was fouled, which led to a three-point play to put the Hawkeyes up four (59-55) with 2:10 left. The Gophers’ Joe Coleman’s layup with 1:45 left made it a 59-57 game.
Then it came down to the final possession.
Trailing by two with 36.1 seconds left, Iowa buckled down defensively and forced Minnesota to burn its final timeout with 13.6 left in the game. Coming out of the break in action, the Gophers found Hollins, and he buried the 3-pointer to send Minnesota to the victory.
Gesell led a group of three Hawkeyes in double figures, finishing with 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting to go along with eight rebounds. Sophomore Aaron White and junior Zach McCabe each added 10 points. Junior Roy Devyn Marble was held scoreless for the first time since his freshman season, but Iowa’s bench made up for his lack of production, outscoring the Gophers, 27-0.
“Dev is struggling, I love him and feel for him, but he’s struggling,” said McCaffery. “You have to decide if you’re going to play him, not play him. I probably did him a disservice putting him back in (at the end of the game).”
Iowa shot 36.2 percent (21-of-58) from the floor and went 7-of-23 (30.4) percent from 3-point range. The Gophers shot 44.9 percent (22-of-49) and were 4-of-16 (25 percent) from 3-point distance.
After trailing 29-28 at the half, Iowa took its first lead of the game on an Adam Woodbury tip-in at the 17:39 mark. The second half was tightly contested, as neither team led by more than four points and there were three ties and four lead changes.
The Hawkeyes were looking up at the Gophers from the get-go, as Minnesota stormed out to a 14-2 lead over the first five minutes behind eight points by Austin Hollins. Iowa’s bench then got going to bring the team back.
“That’s the most disappointing thing that we would come on the road in this environment with an opportunity to do something special and get down 14-2,” said McCaffery. “That is phenomenally disappointing.”
Sophomore Josh Oglesby’s 3-pointer made the score 14-6 and another jumper cut the deficit to 15-10 at the 10:42 mark. With the score 19-12, McCabe connected on consecutive 3-pointers to cut it to one (19-18) with 7:54 remaining in the half.
Oglesby’s second 3-pointer made the score 24-23 at the 4:50 mark, and Iowa trailed 29-28 at the half. The Hawkeyes shot 33.3 percent (10-of-30) from the floor, which included a 5-of-15 effort from long range. Minnesota shot 44 percent (11-of-25) with one 3-pointer. Iowa’s bench outscored the Gophers, 17-0, in the first half.
Iowa returns to action Wednesday night, facing Wisconsin at 8:06 p.m. (CT) in Madison, Wis.
“We feel like we should have won this game, and we’ve had a few that we’ve let go this year,” said Gesell. “We have to put those past us. We have to continue to stay positive. We have to move on.”