Opponent Preview: Iowa

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will try and break their four-game losing streak tonight when they face the Iowa Hawkeyes. Tip-off at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is set for 5:00 p.m. and will be televised by the Big Ten Network

No. 25 Minnesota (16-8, 5-7) vs. Iowa (10-14, 3-9)
Iowa City, Iowa
5:00 p.m. CT – Big Ten Network (Eric Collins, Kenyon Murray)

Quotable

"We were going to him, and he was great. He was a phenomenal rebounder in both halves, and he was a scorer in the low post when we needed him to be. I am happy for him, and I am happy we have him." – Coach Fran McCaffery, on freshman forward Melsahn Basabe, after the Feb. 5 win against the Hoosiers.

"They've tended to play Mbakwe at the three a little more and then they play the two big guys. Up there we had problems with that. They were going on the glass and they were going high low a lot. So we've got a lot of work to do in terms of getting us ready to make sure we rebound.

"I thought Zach did a great job in the first half rebounding the ball, and we need him to do the same. Archie might have helped a little bit tonight if he was able, but Brommer I thought was terrific. – McCaffery on rebounding against a long, athletic Minnesota team.

Pregame Notes

Season to Date: The Hawkeyes have struggled overall this season, compiling a record of 10-14 while going 3-9 in conference play. Despite the losing record, Iowa is shown great promise when playing Iowa City. On February 9th, the Hawkeyes took the Wiconsin Badgers to overtime, eventually losing by a score of 62-59. Earlier this month, Iowa demolished a strong Michigan State team by 20 points. The Hawkeyes have also beaten Indiana twice, a feat the Gophers were unable to accomplish.

Coaching Preview: Fran McCaffery is in his first season as the head coach for the Hawkeyes. McCaffery got his start in 1985 with Lehigh who he brought to the NCAA tournament in just his third season. He then moved on the North Carolina Greensboro where he compiled a record of 90-87. McCaffery then coached Sienna he won three conference titles, had four 20-win seasons and was an incredible 112-51 in five seasons.

Stat to Watch: The Hawkeyes and Gophers are tenth and eleventh in free throw shooting percentage in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are shooting just over 67% while the Gophers are shooting a dismal 64.9% from the line. Look for free throw shooting to become key in a close game on Sunday.

Series History: These longtime rivals have been competing since 1902, with the Gophers holding a 94-81 lead in the all-time series.

Last Meeting: Minnesota came out strong, opening up a 15-point lead in the first only to have the Hawkeyes battle back in the second half. The Gophers fended off a resilient Iowa, winning the game by a score of 69-59. Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe lead the Gophers with 16 points and 12 rebounds off the bench. Iowa forward Melsahn Basabe posted a double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds.

Projected Starters:
C 50 Jarryd Cole 6.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg
F 25 Eric May 9.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg
F 01 Melsahn Basabe 10.8 ppg, 7.1 rpg
G 05 Matt Gatens 12.8 ppg, 2.4 rpg
G 24 Bryce Cartwright 11.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Background:
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Enrollment: 30,825
Conference: Big Ten
Mascot: Herky the Hawk
Colors: Black and Old Gold
Coach: Fran McCaffery


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