No. 5 Iowa men’s basketball team wins rematch with No. 16 Minnesota

The Hawkeyes dominated in the second half on their way to win No. 11 of the season.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa forward Luka Garza dribbles during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Minnesota on Sunday.

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

The No. 5 Iowa men’s basketball team avenged one of its two losses this season by defeating No. 16 Minnesota, 86-71, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday.

The Hawkeyes lost to the Gophers in overtime in Minneapolis on Christmas Day despite leading by seven points with 44 seconds remaining in the second half. This time around, Iowa fought off Minnesota’s late comeback attempt to improve to 11-2 on the season.

Two of Iowa center Luka Garza’s shot attempts were blocked by Minnesota’s Liam Robbins near the basket within the first four minutes of play. But Garza still found success near the basket despite Minnesota’s capable post defense. Receiving passes from Jordan Bohannon and Connor McCaffery, Garza put his talent of maneuvering near the basket on display and finished the first half with 15 points to lead all scorers.

At the first timeout of the game, coming at the 13:56 mark of the first half, Iowa led 15-12. Using a 7-0 run, which was capped by a Bohannon 3-pointer, Iowa took a 26-17 lead at the 10:30 mark.

Despite facing a nine-point deficit for stretches of the first half, Minnesota showed its resiliency and fought back to take a 35-34 lead with 1:38 to play in the half. At the time, Iowa had only hit one of its last 12 shots.

Right after Minnesota guard Marcus Carr’s shot from beyond the arc put Minnesota on top, Garza hit a 3-pointer of his own to push the lead back in Iowa’s favor. After Minnesota tied the game at 37, Garza hit a pair of free throws to give Iowa a 39-37 lead at halftime.

The game wasn’t as close in the second half.

After the break, the Hawkeyes used a quick 16-2 run to go up 55-41 by the 14:32 mark of the second half. But much like what it did in the first half, Minnesota fought back to keep the game competitive. Despite trailing by as many as 18 points, at the 5:30 mark, the Gophers cut the Hawkeye lead to five points.

But unlike the first matchup, Iowa recovered and, despite some hot shooting from Minnesota late on the perimeter, held onto its late advantage for the victory. Bohannon iced the victory with a late 3-pointer with just over 30 seconds remaining in the game to push Iowa’s lead to 15.

Garza finished the game with 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting. Garza became Iowa’s all-time scoring leader in Big Ten games after the 33-point effort against Minnesota. Garza now has 1,116 points in regular season Big Ten games, surpassing Roy Marble (1,113)

Bohannon tallied 19 points (including four 3-pointers), and notched career highs in assists (14) and rebounds (seven). The senior did not commit a turnover.

Joe Wieskamp scored 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting, becoming the 50th Hawkeye to join the 1,000-point club in the process.

Carr scored 30 points in the first matchup between the teams, but was limited to 13 points on 5-of-19 shooting on Sunday.

As a team, Iowa shot 55 percent from the field compared to Minnesota’s 35 percent. Iowa assisted on 27 of its 31 made shots.

The Hawkeyes return to the court on Thursday against No. 22 Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

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