Feb. 25, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Sixty-one percent shooting and 11 3-point field goals lifted Minnesota to a 95-89 upset victory over the 19th-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team on Tuesday night inside Williams Arena.
The loss drops the Hawkeyes’ record to 19-8 overall and 8-6 in Big Ten play. It is the first time this season that Iowa has lost consecutive games.
“Defensively it wasn’t there for us tonight, and that’s where we need to get better,” said junior Aaron White, who scored 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. “Unlike the last eight games, Minnesota shot the ball really well tonight.”
Senior Roy Devyn Marble led the Hawkeyes, finishing with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting. The guard made 4-of-8 3-pointers and had four rebounds and six assists. Junior Josh Oglesby scored 16 points with four 3-pointers, while sophomore Mike Gesell added 13 points to go along with six assists.
Senior Melsahn Basabe missed the game due to sickness — his second straight game without being a factor.
“No excuses on our part, but Melsahn is one of our top players,” said White. “To have him not be able to go because of sickness is tough. Other guys have to step up, and we didn’t have enough guys step up tonight.”
The Hawkeyes shot 48.4 percent from the floor (31-of-64) and made 10-of-25 3-point field goals (40 percent). Iowa also made 17-of-22 free throws and scored 23 points off of 14 Minnesota turnovers.
The Hawkeyes scored with, but couldn’t slow down the Gophers. Minnesota shot 61.2 percent, making 30-of-49 field goal attempts, and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point range. The Gophers also made 24-of-29 free throws and won the rebounding battle, 29-28.
Minnesota had four players reach double figures with Austin Hollins leading the way with a career-high 27 points. DeAndre Mathieu scored 19 points and had seven assists, Andre Hollins scored 14 points, and Charles Buggs scored 13 points off the bench — he had scored five total points all season.
Overall, the Gopher bench outscored Iowa’s reserves, 26-9.
After leading 51-47 at the break, Minnesota pushed its advantage to 59-51 three minutes into the second half, but Iowa responded by scoring 8-of-12 points, including consecutive 3-pointers by Oglesby that made the score 63-61 with 15:20 to play.
Up 68-66 with 13:39 left, Minnesota used a 12-1 run to open up an 80-67 advantage with 8:23 remaining, but Iowa had an immediate answer.
A White fast-break dunk cut the lead to 80-71 before Gesell’s layup trimmed the deficit to 80-73 with 6:49 left. Following a three-minute drought, White hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make the score 80-76 with 4:05 remaining.
After a pair of Mathieu free throws stretched the margin to 82-76, Marble hit 1-of-2 free throws before tipping in a Gesell miss on a layup and converting the three-point play with 1:30 remaining to pull Iowa to within two at 82-80. That would be as close as Iowa would come, as Minnesota made 13-of-14 free throw attempts in the final 1:10 to run out 95-89 winners.
“When we cut it to two, we had a couple of crazy possessions in a row, and had a couple of offensive fouls called there that could have gone either way,” said McCaffery. “You fight, fight, fight to get the ball back and then you give it right back to them. That was unfortunate.”
Gesell scored seven of Iowa’s first 15 points in helping the Hawkeyes jump out to a 14-7 lead six and a half minutes in. After a Buggs 3-pointer tied the game at 19, a Marble 3-ball and a three-point play by White put Iowa back on top 25-19 with 9:12 left in the first half.
Marble’s second 3-pointer at the 7:48 mark pushed Iowa’s lead to 30-21 and Iowa built a half-high 11 point advantage courtesy of a pair of Zach McCabe free throws with 7:28 left, but a 3-point barrage brought the Gophers all the way back.
“The first half probably couldn’t have started better for us,” said White. “The offense was coming so easy for us, we were in the bonus, and I think we let up on defense, and they made their run.”
Buggs and Austin Hollins hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to 32-27 before Marble had an answer to put Iowa up eight (35-27) with 6:09 left. Austin Hollins followed with a 3-pointer and layup to cut the lead to 35-33 and an Andre Hollins’ long ball gave the Gophers a 40-39 lead with 3:38 remaining in the half.
After a pair of White free throws put Iowa up 41-40 , Mathieu’s layup gave Minnesota a 42-41 lead before Buggs and Austin Hollins hit two 3-pointers in a span of 17 seconds to make the score 48-41. Down 51-41 with 55 seconds left, Marble went to work, using an old-school three-point play and a step-back 3-pointer with the clock expiring to make it a 51-47 game at the break.
Iowa shot a respectable 50 percent (15-of-30) from the floor and from long range (5-of-10) in the first half, but it didn’t pale in comparison to the Gophers. Minnesota made 18-of-26 field goals (69.2 percent) and made a staggering 9-of-11 3-point field goals.
Minnesota scored 51 first half points after finishing with totals of 54, 49, and 46 points in its last three games at Northwestern, vs. Illinois and at Ohio State, respectively.
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday night at Indiana, facing the Hoosiers at 8 p.m. (CT) inside Assembly Hall.
“We’ll be ready to go,” said White. “Indiana is an up-and-down team, but they play well at home. We know we’ll get their best shot, and we’ll be ready to go.”