We try not to bust out the Junior Senior for every win, but after the abject misery of the last two Iowa basketball games and the fact that this win clinched the first season sweep of Minnesota in basketball since 2007, well, it seemed warranted. Iowa opened up a 12-point lead in the first half by playing okay... and Minnesota playing really, really, really badly. Minnesota stopped playing so badly, started making threes (they shot 53% for behind the arc for the game and over half of their total points came from threes), and eventually built a 10-point lead of their own in the second half. They led by five as late as 2:30 left in the game. And then Iowa took over.
Kudos to Roy Devyn Marble, who was as marvelously clutch down the stretch here as he was in Iowa's earlier B1G wins over Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Kudos to Matt Gatens, who was Iowa's leading scorer (18 points on 7/14 shooting) and seemed to play a role in almost every good play Iowa had.
Kudos to Aaron White and Zach McCabe, who overcame some tepid shooting (2/7 and 2/5, respectively) to still combine for 17 points and 17 rebounds and give Iowa a spark in the second half.
And kudos to Melsahn Basabe, who's often been the invisible man this season, but who contributed 8 points and 7 rebounds off the bench tonight and looked active and engaged when he was on the court.
But kudos to the entire team, really. This game just did not feel like a game Iowa would win after the early lead evaporated behind a barrage of Gopher long-range bombs. This felt like a game we've seen time and time again over the past few seasons, one where they piss away a lead and can never get enough stops to get back into the game. How nice to be wrong about that. Go Hawks.