Trailing 11-5 at the 15:40 mark, Iowa would score 12 straight points to take their largest lead in the first half at 17-11 with 11:40 remaining in the first half.
6-7 junior combo forward Glen Worley accounted for five points during that run for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa and Minnesota would duke it out the remained of the first half, as neither team was able to break free of the other. Iowa would take a slim one point lead into the locker room at halftime 31-30.
Iowa, which had been forced to play its zone defense in recent games, thrived on its tough man-to-man defense, keeping the Gophers on their toes in the first half. However, when Minnesota did try to go inside, the Hawkeyes got in the passing lanes and forced the Gophers into several turnovers, which led to nine points in the first twenty minutes of play.
The Hawkeyes (12-7, 4-5) who like to be patient on offense and work the ball, rarely had the chance in the first half, as they outscored Minnesota in fast break points 11-0.
The Hawkeyes looked a little sluggish coming out of the locker room in the second half, as Minnesota was able to score the first four points in the second half to take a 34-30 lead.
6-11 junior center Jared Reiner, who missed Iowa's last three games with a sprained MCL, helped fuel a 12-4 Hawkeye run, enabling the Hawkeyes to take a 44-38 lead with 13:00 remaining in the game. Reiner scored four points in the Hawkeyes run.
However, just as they had in the first half, Iowa was able to grab a six point lead, but Minnesota was able to come back and tie the game at 50-50 on a three pointer from 6-11 sophomore forward Rick Rickert with 9:40 remaining.
Minnesota (14-7, 6-4) scored the next five points to take a 55-50 lead, but after an Iowa timeout 6-9 junior center Sean Sonderleiter completed a three point play to cut the Gophers lead to just two points at 55-53 with 7:43 remaining in the game.
Leslie penetrated and knocked down a six foot jumper from the middle of the lane to tie the game at 60-60 with 3:52.
However, Minnesota's 6-8 junior forward Michael Bauer, who had been plagued by foul trouble throughout the entire game, scored 11 of his 15 points in a 17-4 Gopher run over the final 3:52 to break the game wide open and help Minnesota win 77-64 in a game that was a lot closer than the final score showed.
Leslie led three Hawkeyes in double figures with 15 points. 5-11 junior combo guard Brody Boyd finished with 11 points on 3-10 shooting from beyond the three point line. 6-7 freshman combo forward Greg Brunner added 10 points. Reiner scored eight points in his return from a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Iowa will now return home for a three game home stand, that will open up on Saturday afternoon as they host Penn State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Hawkeyes will then host Indiana on Wednesday February 19th, and Wisconsin on Saturday February 22nd.