Iowa men’s basketball team nearly blows 23-point lead in road win over Minnesota

The Hawkeyes improved to 13-4 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten with their 81-71 win over the Gophers.


© Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 16, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Gophers forward Jamison Battle (10) shoots the ball over Iowa Hawkeyes forward Keegan Murray (15) during the second half at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Read, Pregame Editor

The Iowa men’s basketball team’s 23-point lead over Minnesota was down to three in the final minute of Sunday’s contest in Minneapolis. Then, Keegan Murray took over.

Murray, who leads the nation in scoring, hit a 3-pointer with 59 seconds remaining, which pushed Iowa’s lead back to six points. Then, the sophomore forward blocked a shot seconds later on the other end of the court and prevented Minnesota from cutting into the lead again on Iowa’s way to an 81-71 win over Minnesota at Williams Arena. The Hawkeyes (13-4 overall, 3-3 Big Ten) blew a seven-point lead with 44 seconds remaining at “The Barn” last season, but managed to hang on for their sixth win in their last seven games this time around.

After the game-changing sequence by Murray, point guard Jordan Bohannon converted on four free throw attempts to hand Minnesota (10-5, 1-5) its fifth loss of the season. The Gophers were without four players and two assistant coaches because of COVID-19 protocols and injuries.

Murray finished with a game-high 25 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals.

Forward Filip Rebraca posted a double-double for the Hawkeyes (12 points and 12 rebounds), while Bohannon (12 points) and forward Patrick McCaffery (12 points) also scored in double-figures.

An Iowa spokesperson said forward Connor McCaffery did not play on Sunday because of back soreness.

The next time the Hawkeyes will be on the floor will be in New Jersey on Wednesday for a conference matchup with Rutgers (10-6, 4-2). The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m. and will air on the Big Ten Network.