Gophers Win Again, 69-59 Over Iowa

MINNEAPOLIS -- On Sunday evening the Iowa Hawkeyes entered The Barn looking for their first conference win over the Golden Gophers. Minnesota came out strong, opening up a 15-point lead in the first only to have the Hawkeyes battle back in the second half before the Gophers took over again, winning the game by a score of 69-59. The win pushed their record to 14-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference.

Game Recap

Coming off the victory against No. 8 ranked Purdue could have made the Gopher overly confident heading into their game a struggling Hawkeyes squad. This did not appear to be the case as came out and did not take the Iowa's offense lightly.

While the Gophers struggled offensively in the opening minutes, their defense held strong, keeping Iowa to only six points in the first eight minutes of the game. The Gophers' offense eventually got hot, opening up a 29-14 lead with just over three minutes left in the half. Despite a late push in the first, the Gophers headed to the locker room with a 30-19 lead.

The beginning of the second half was a completely different story for both teams. Thanks to poor shooting and defense by the Gophers, the Hawkeyes jumped right back into the game, tying the Gophers at 32 in less than four minutes into the second half.

The game went back and forth until Minnesota rallied to go on to a 19-4 run beginning at the 14-minute mark. The Hawkeyes made a late push, closing within six points with under two minutes remaining but the Gophers remained calm, winning the game by a final score of 69-59.

Inside the Game

Blake Hoffarber struggled mightily from the field, shooting just 2-for-10 but made 5-of-6 free throws to end up with nine points. The senior captain filled the stat sheet with four rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot. Two of Hoffarber's assists came on great passes to Rodney Williams and Trevor Mbakwe on the fast break for dunks that energized the packed Williams Arena.

Iowa's top performer was freshman forward Melsahn Basabe who had game highs with 20 points and 13 rebounds, five offensive. Despite ending the game with four fouls, Basabe played 35 minutes and was a constant force for the Hawkeyes.

One of the main stories of the game was the Gophers' bench player, which netted 25 points compared to zero points from Iowa's reserves. Much of the scoring came from Trevor Mbakwe who had 16 points on 5-for-7 shooting to go with his 12 rebounds.

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