THE FACTS: Iowa built an early lead in both halves and had an answer for every Minnesota run as they held on to put the Gophers at 0-5 in the Big Ten with a 77-75 win in Minnesota. Iowa built up a 17-point lead early after the break and Minnesota made runs to cut the lead, even taking a brief lead of their own, but the Hawks made enough plays down the stretch to move their record to 3-1 in the Big Ten.
Iowa had an answer after every comeback attempt and big shot hit by the Gophers. Gophers hit a couple shots in a row? Iowa nails a three to stem the tide.
Nate Mason makes a tough shot to cut the lead to single digits? The Hawkeyes get three offensive rebounds before finally scoring a put-back to push it back to 11.
Carlos Morris scores to cut it to six? Dominique Uhl hits a three, just his third of the season!
Joey King hits a three to give the Gophers their first lead of the night? Jarrod Uthoff hits a contested elbow jumper to tie it back up.
Gophers build a two possession lead with just over three minutes on a Joey King three? Iowa stays the course and finishes on an 8-2 run to get the win.
THE STAT: 0-5! Five straight losses to open the Big Ten season really puts this team in a massive hole, probably a hole too deep to overcome. Home against a team that is pretty good but not a top tier team and you needed to get this win.
THE STAT II: Nine blocked shots for Iowa. NINE!!!
TURNING POINT: Iowa dominated for much of the game before Minnesota a big comeback but it was Jarrod Uthoff coming off a screen and hitting a shot from a step beyond the elbow to break a 75-75 tie and give Iowa the lead for good.
HOT: Uthoff scored season high 22 points including the game-winner.
NOT: From the free throw line Nate Mason and Elliott Eliason each missed the front end of 1-and-1 with a lead and under 2:30 left in the game. Those are free throws we kind of needed and free throw shooting has been an issue for this team this year.
GOOD MOVE: Nate Mason into the starting lineup was probably overdue. The true freshman has been stable on both ends of the floor He makes good decisions on offense making plenty of shots while not forcing anything. And defensively he gets good on-the-ball pressure while not getting lost in the team defensive concepts. Mason scored 17 in his first collegiate start including some very big shots as the Gophers were mounting their comeback. It was a really nice game for Mason.
UP NEXT: Rutgers at home, on Saturday. If this is not a win, then somebody on staff might as well begin drafting the statement as to why we will be politely declining the invitation to the post-season CBI Tourney.