This is going to shock you, but Iowa couldn't shoot over 60% for the rest of the season.
Minnesota picked up its fourth win in five games with a 64-59 victory in front of a stunned and risible Iowa crowd. The Hawkeyes played one of their flattest games of the season, turning the ball over 10 times in the first half (routinely not getting a shot up during a 12-0 run that took over eight minutes) and coming up short on one final rally.
The game was close for most of the second half until Minnesota scored on six straight possessions, pushing a 43-42 game to 55-44 with 2:48 left, forcing Iowa to scramble to make up the difference. Iowa did make one push—basically its first sign of life on offense all game long—and a trio of free throws from Jarrod Uthoff got Iowa back within 61-59 with under a minute left. Iowa then had the ball down three with 20 seconds left, but Mike Gesell drove straight into Mo Walker, who stripped the ball for Iowa's 16th and final turnover. Ballgame.
As always, point guard play was the barometer for Iowa, and this was a tough performance for Gesell and Anthony Clemmons. Gesell went 0-4 from the field, turned the ball over three times and had worlds of trouble getting the ball inside. Clemmons at least hit a couple of shots and had only one turnover in 14 minutes of play, but he too was a relative non-factor. And being that Minnesota's mighty mouse Andre Hollins led all scorers with 20 points, including some huge threes down the stretch, you can't say "yeah, but defense" for the point guards.
Speaking of the guards, Josh Oglesby put in 11 minutes and had one assist and one turnover to show for it. Wherever his head is, it's not on the court; he passed up multiple open looks and looked as indecisive as we've ever seen him (which is saying a lot). There's really no way to sugar-coat it: Iowa's guards (aside from Peter Jok, who registered 16 points) had a terrible game, and it cost Iowa with another close loss.
Uthoff looked good, at least; he led Iowa with 17 points, including some gorgeous jumpers, but he missed a three that could have pushed Iowa within two points with 1:23 left. He made up for it quickly with a block, then a steal 20 seconds later, because he's Jarrod Uthoff, but in a game of what-might-have-beens, that missed three stings.
Iowa drops to 15-9, and while this doesn't doom the Hawkeyes' tourney hopes by any means, we are getting to the point where there's only so many more losses their resume can take—especially with basically one opportunity left for a "quality" win in the regular season: a trip to Indiana on March 3.
Minnesota's much tougher than their 4-7 conference record indicated, and even 5-7 probably doesn't give the Gophers enough credit (they came into the game ranked higher in the KenPom ratings than Indiana, for example). That's not to say this is a "good" loss, obviously; it's not. This is rough. But Iowa got the fight it should have been expecting, and the Gophers got a pretty big road win. Boo.