Iowa blows past Minnesota
Gophers host Badgers on Wednesday
It was an uncharacteristic near shutout as Iowa forward Aaron White and guard Roy Devyn Marble managed one combined point during the first half of Sunday's Big Ten clash with Minnesota.
Fortunately for the No. 14 Hawkeyes, the slump did not last.
White and Marble erupted for a combined 33 points in the second half as Iowa sprinted past Minnesota in a 94-73 come-from-behind win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
"Dev and I had probably the worst first half since we've played together," said White, who scored a team-high 18 points, all in the second half. "It was unacceptable the way we played so we had to pick it up in and did a good job and that's why the score reflects it."
Marble added 16 -- including 15 during the second 20 minutes -- as the Hawkeyes (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) claimed their third straight conference win and extended a home winning streak to 20, one shy of matching an all-time arena record.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said he was not too worried about the lack of production.
"I felt pretty good about their involvement in the second half and their ability to affect some change out there," he said. "And boy, did they ever."
While White and Marble struggled early, others stepped up as reflected in five Hawkeyes closing in double figures.
Guard Josh Oglesby scored 17 points, center Gabriel Olaseni collected 12 and guard Mike Gesell added 11.
Guard Andre Hollins paced unranked Minnesota (14-5, 3-3) with a game-high 20 points while guard Austin Hollins added 12.
Iowa rallied from a 43-33 first-half deficit to nearly catch Minnesota by halftime and then blitzed the Golden Gophers with a 21-10 run over the first 5:29 of the second half to open a 62-53 lead.
"We were up 10 with about 1:18 left in the first half and they made a great run like most good teams do," Golden Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. "We didn't respond the right way. We couldn't get stops. We went man, we went zone, but there was no defense that I could devise to get stops tonight."
Minnesota had just three field goals in the final 7:25 and went scoreless for more than four minutes late in the game.
Neither team had much of an edge through most of a see-saw first half that featured 11 lead changes and four ties.
Iowa's largest early edge at 14-9 came at 12:21 after a pair of free throws by Olaseni. Minnesota went up 25-21 on Andre Hollins' baseline 3-pointer with 6:40 showing.
The Golden Gophers scored eight unanswered points in a 26-seconds span to open a 38-22 lead with 2:10 left.
They added five more as Andre Hollins connected on a 3-pointer with 1:28 showing and forward Joey King hit two free throws 15 seconds later for a double-digit but short-lived lead at 43-33.
The Hawkeyes rushed to close the gap to 43-41 with eight points in 1:05, including Gesell's layup and back-to-back 3-pointers from Ogelsby, the last coming with four seconds remaining.
"Josh was obviously really, really good in that period," McCaffery said. "We went to him and he was on fire. But we also got a few stops and that gave us great momentum."
Marble had six points in the first 2:05 as Iowa continued the run and opened a 52-46 lead. Less than 3 1/2 minutes later the Hawkeyes went up 62-53 after White's steal and layup.
The lead hit 12 points at 71-59 with forward Jarrod Uthoff's layup with 10:54 showing.
Minnesota twice got as close as six but Iowa regained some distance and White's driving layup and three-point play restored a 12-point lead at 83-71 with 4:35 to play.
After scoring 18 first-half points, Andre Hollins was held to two.
"They just decided to shut him down," Pitino said. "I think they did it in a variety of ways (and) we didn't do a good job of playing inside-out in the second half."
NOTES: Iowa has scored 82 points or more in all but three games this season. ... F Melsahn Basabe was honored prior to the game with a commemorative basketball for topping 1,000 career points on Jan. 9 against Northwestern. He has had double-doubles in each of the last two games. ... The Hawkeyes' three losses have come against teams with a combined 45-3 record. ... Sunday's game was Minnesota's fourth against a nationally-ranked foe. The Golden Gophers are 1-3, including last Sunday's 63-53 upset of No. 11 Ohio State ... Minnesota leads the Big Ten in steals per game (8.4) and free-throw shooting (.755) and is fourth in 3-pointers (7.7), assists (14.4) and rebounding margin (plus-3.7). ... The Golden Gophers still lead the all-time series 96-84. ... Both teams are back in action on Wednesday. Iowa travels to Michigan while Minnesota hosts No. 3 Wisconsin.
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