Jan. 13, 2015
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By JAMES ALLAN
MINNEAPOLIS — Junior Jarrod Uthoff drained the game-winning jumper with 6.1 seconds remaining to send the University of Iowa men’s basketball team to a 77-75 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night at Williams Arena.
After a clock review, the Gophers took possession with 3.5 seconds left after 2.7 seconds were taken off the clock after an inadvertent clock stoppage. Minnesota’s DeAndre Mathieu took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast before converting the game-tying layup, but the field goal was waved off and confirmed no good by replay, giving the Hawkeyes their third road victory of the season.
“Coach (McCaffery) had faith in me to knock the last shot down and called a play for me,” said Uthoff, who led all scorers with 22 points. “Luckily it went in.”
“Any time you hit a shot like that, it has to make Jarrod feel good and make the guys feel good because they executed the play to perfection,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “Somebody has to make that shot. You can set any kind of play, somebody has to make a play, and Jarrod made a big, big basket there.”
Iowa finished with a 52.1 percent field goal percentage, connecting on 25-of-48 attempts for the game, including an 8-of-16 performance from 3-point range. The Hawkeyes are now 6-0 when making eight or more 3-pointers this season.
Minnesota erased a 17-point second half deficit by making 18-of-29 field goals and six 3-pointers over the final 20 minutes. The Gophers shot 45.8 percent and went 9-of-25 from 3-point range for the game.
Iowa won the rebounding battle, 33-30, and its 13 offensive rebounds led to 17 second-chance points. The Gophers forced the Hawkeyes into committing 14 turnovers, which translated to 16 Minnesota points.
Uthoff’s career-high 22 points came on a 7-for-10 night from the field. The forward made two 3-pointers, all six of his free throw attempts, and had five rebounds and four assists.
“Jarrod had a small guy on him and we kept going to him,” said McCaffery. “He could get his shot off (when he wanted to).”
Senior Aaron White and sophomore Peter Jok both finished with 13 points. White also had six rebounds and four assists, while Jok made 5-of-8 shots with three 3-pointers. Junior Adam Woodbury had nine points and eight rebounds.
Four Minnesota players reached double figures with Carlos Morris leading the way with 20 points. Nate Mason had 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting in his first career start.
After taking a 38-27 lead into the half, Iowa extended its advantage early in the second half. Minnesota’s Andre Hollins opened the half with a 3-pointer from the corner to cut Iowa’s lead to 38-30 before the Hawkeyes reeled off 7-of-9 points to take a 45-32 lead and force a Gopher timeout.
Iowa followed with back-to-back 3-pointers from junior Mike Gesell and Jok to open a 51-34 lead with 16:07 remaining. Minnesota didn’t roll over.
The Gophers used an old-fashioned three-point play from Morris at the 13:56 mark to climb to within 54-41 before cutting the deficit to single digits (57-48) on a Mason layup with 11:56 left.
“We softened a little bit defensively,” said McCaffery. “Minnesota is a good 3-point shooting team and sooner or later they were going to start hitting some 3s. Once they got the momentum, they were drilling them.
“It’s tough when you’re trying to stop the run, and they were coming at us.”
Minnesota climbed to within six with 10:34 remaining, four at the 8:24 mark, one with 7:08 to play before taking its first lead of the game on a Joey King 3-pointer with 6:21 to play. A second King 3-pointer gave Minnesota a 73-69 lead with 3:11 left.
Woodbury made 1-of-2 free throws with 2:36 remaining to close the gap to 73-70 before Uthoff made a pair of free throws to make the score 73-72. Uthoff then drained a 3-pointer with 2:01 to play to give Iowa a 75-73 lead.
With the score tied at 75, Iowa withstood a pair of Minnesota shot attempts inside a minute of play — one that was blocked by senior Gabriel Olaseni — before taking over with 37 seconds to play.
The Hawkeyes built an 11-point halftime lead after shooting 61.9 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. Iowa started off sizzling from the field, making seven of its first eight shots and 10-of-12 field goals over the first 12 minutes.
The Hawkeyes jumped out to a 12-4 lead over the first four minutes and Iowa led 20-15 at the 12-minute media timeout. Iowa followed with a 7-2 spurt, courtesy of a Uthoff jumper, a Jok 3-pointer, and a White layup to open up a 29-19 lead with 7:24 left in the half.
After four-straight points from Mason cut the Gopher deficit to 29-23, Iowa scored seven of the next nine points, which included a Josh Oglesby 3-pointer that opened up an 11-point Hawkeye advantage. Iowa led 38-27 at the break.
Iowa (12-5, 3-1) returns to action Saturday, hosting Ohio State at 1 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes won the first meeting, 71-65, on Dec. 30 in Columbus.