THE FACTS: Keegan Murray lead the Hawkeyes with 24 points and 15 rebounds as the Hawkeyes erased a 4 point deficit at halftime to beat the Gophers 71-59 in Carver Hawkeye Arena. Minnesota, behind a career night from Luke Loewe, played a great 1st half, leading by 4 at the break.
THE BOX SCORE: HERE
KEY STAT: Today’s key stat was really the matchup of Keegan Murray and Jamison Battle. Murray scoring 24 and Battle making just 1 basket
THE TURNING POINT: At the 16:48 mark, Iowa went on a 14-2 run to take the lead for good and they never looked back. Even those first 3 minutes of the 2nd half, the Gophers had even extended their lead to 5. But at 16:48, they got hot and their defense made this very difficult for the Gophers.
HOT: Holy cow, Luke Loewe. Where did those 19 points come from? And that half-court shot to end the half? Getting Loewe shooting 4/5 from three is usually going to help this team tremendously.
NOT: Jamison Battle really struggled today. As the guy primarily defending Keegan Murray, he struggled. And then on the offensive end he finished with just 2 points, going 1/12 including 0/6 from three. We are not going to win very many games against good teams if Battle struggles like this.
GOOD MOVE: Whatever Billy Taylor, who was filling in as head coach for Fran McCaffery, said to the Hawkeyes to get them to play defense in the 2nd half was the difference in the game. The Gophers scored just 21 2nd half points against an Iowa defense that really has not been very good defensively.
NOTABLE: Iowa is very good offensively. ranking 10th nationally in offensive efficiency. Minnesota’s offense was great in the first half, but ultimately we just didn’t have the firepower to keep up.
UP NEXT: Next game is at Nebraska on Wednesday. This will only be the 2nd game of the conference schedule so far against a team outside of the KenPom top 50.