The Iowa basketball team allowed 60 percent shooting to a Minnesota team that shot 40 percent —and scored just 57 points— against Michigan earlier in the week to lose its second-straight conference game, 92-87 in Minneapolis.
The first half was an objectively entertaining affair; a high-scoring exhibition that combined hot shooting and general apathy towards defense. Minnesota shot a red-hot 65 percent from the floor to own a 55-46 lead at half; it would have been more if Iowa didn’t try and match Minnesota’s pace, shooting 60 percent from the floor and 6-9 from three.
Minnesota did its best to step on Iowa’s throat in the first half, but Isaiah Moss prevented that from happening. He shot 4-4 from three in the first frame, his third three giving Iowa a brief 35-34 lead, and his final one stopping the bleeding on what was a 15-2 Minnesota run up until that point. He ended the night with 23 points and is quickly becoming one of Iowa’s most reliable scorers.
Iowa trotted out a handful of different defenses in the first half; none of them worked. The zone was punctured and the Hawkeyes didn’t have an answer for senior forward Jordan Murphy, who logged 13 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in the first half, also hitting a three-pointer as time expired to add to the Gopher lead going into the locker room. The Minnesota offense flowed through him and the Hawkeyes couldn’t contain him anywhere on the court.
And that continued through the second half. Murphy ended the night with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 6 assists and well he caused a lot of problems.
The second half was all Minnesota. The Hawkeyes brought out a 1-3-1 zone and that got popped like a balloon pretty quickly, but Iowa seemed to stay with it for better or worse (it was for worse).
Minnesota led by as much as 14 at one point, but it sort of felt like if Iowa could get it within five points with 5 minutes to play they’d have a chance.
Well, with under four minutes left and down 65-81, Iowa went on an 11-0 run to make it 76-81 and put some pressure on the rodents. Minnesota took three trips to the line and came away with just one point with under three minutes to play, but Iowa couldn’t capitalize.
With a minute to go Jordan Murphy drove to the hoop but was met by Tyler Cook, who took Murphy’s brick and drove it down the court with Iowa down 84-80. He missed an open Isaiah Moss to drive into a Minnesota double team and turn it over for his fifth time tonight. Dupree McBrayer hit a free throw and helped close the door on the Hawkeyes.
Minnesota went to the line a few more times, Iowa chiseled a little, and a three-pointer from Moss at the buzzer make this score seem closer than it really was.
Iowa has the week off until Friday evening when No. 5 Michigan comes to Iowa City.
- There was about a five-minute stretch in the second half when Iowa trotted out a lineup that included Riley Till, Maishe Dailey, Connor McCaffery, Ryan Kriener and Nicholas Baer. No disrespect to those guys, but that’s an interesting group to use to chip away at a double-digit lead.
- Joe Wieskamp played just 20 minutes total and didn’t log his first point until 1:34 remained in the game, shooting fouls. I dunno what that’s about.
- Tyler Cook shot just 2-7 from the line tonight, and Iowa shot just 13-21. Minnesota didn’t do so well at the line either, but that didn’t matter.
- Jordan Bohannon had just two points.
- Luka Garza had his fifth consecutive game of at least 20 points. He’s really good.
- At least True Detective is on soon!