In a game they needed to have after a rough loss at Nebraska, the Iowa Hawkeyes (12-12, 3-8 Big Ten) defeated a depleted Minnesota Golden Gophers (14-10, 3-8 Big Ten) in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes got off to a fast start in this one behind some strong play from Tyler Cook, whose five points in the first three minutes helped Iowa jump out to an 11-1 lead. Things started to stall out a bit from there, though, as turnovers and a really odd bench lineup (Dailey, Uhl, Wagner, Nunge, and Pemsl) stalled out the Iowa offense and allowed the Gophers to quickly get back into the game.
For the remainder of the first half, neither team was able to get much separation from the other, as they traded leads with regularity. After the Gophers erased a six point deficit (18-12) nine minutes into the half, the most either team would lead by would be the four point advantage that Iowa would take into halftime at 37-33. Cook led all scorers with 11, while Jordan Murphy paced the Gophers with nine points and 10 first half boards.
Out of the intermission, Iowa would once again come out guns a-blazin’ as they started the half out on a 13-4 run, but Minnesota just wouldn’t go away during the second half. They clawed their way back into the game, but just couldn’t get over the hump, cutting the deficit to as low as four points with about 6:30 remaining behind strong second half efforts from Isaiah Washington and Davonte Fitzgerald.
After that point in the game, the Hawks took over and wouldn’t look back, going on a 10-2 run to put the game out of reach. Outside of Jack Nunge, every Iowa player went on to shoot 50% or better from the field in the second half to put the Gophers away. Jordan Bohannon paced the Hawks with 15 second half points, shooting 4-of-6 from the field.
- Six Hawkeyes scored in double digits: Bohannon (20), Tyler Cook (17), Isaiah Moss (16), Nicholas Baer (10), Luka Garza (10), and Cordell Pemsl (10).
- Iowa shot a sparkling 55% from the field and 48% from 3-pt range in the contest, while limiting Minnesota to 44.8% shooting from the field and 28% from deep.
- Jack Nunge played arguably his best game as a Hawkeye - he scored six points, corralled three boards, and had a couple blocks, but he looked comfortable in his 14 minutes on the floor.
- Bohannon went 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and has now hit 30 straight free throws.
- Cook (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Bohannon (20 points, 10 assists) both had double-doubles.
- Dom Uhl and Ahmad Wagner played two and three minutes, respectively. They were the only two Iowa players not to have a positive +/-.
- The victory gives Fran McCaffery 400 career wins as a head coach over 22 seasons.
- Iowa hits the road for their next game - they’ll take on Penn State on Feb. 3 at 5 p.m.