LINKEDIN 7 COMMENTMORE

For as poorly as it played Thursday night, the Iowa basketball team incredibly had a chance to force overtime – and maybe steal one from Minnesota.

Instead, the Hawkeyes fumbled when it counted most and got what they deserved, an ugly 64-59 loss at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

"It's tough," junior Jarrod Uthoff said. "We're playing for second place (in the Big Ten Conference), or first place for that matter. This is a tough one."

The Hawkeyes (15-9, 6-5) began the night tied for second in the loss column in the league (well behind runaway leader Wisconsin), with a favorable schedule remaining. But they looked lost on this night.

Skip in Skip
x

Embed

x
CLOSE

The Iowa forward succinctly explains the 64-59 loss to Minnesota.

Down 55-44 with 2 minutes, 48 seconds remaining, urgency finally set in for the Hawkeyes. Aaron White scored a 3-point play, Uthoff canned a 3-pointer. Peter Jok sank four free throws. White dunked off a Uthoff steal.

After Uthoff's three free throws with 20 seconds left cut the gap to 61-59, those of the 13,756 that stuck around for the finish were hooting and hollering. After a foul, Minnesota's Nate Mason made just one of two free throws, giving Iowa the ball down three win 19 seconds left.

Point guard Mike Gesell drove the length of the floor but had the ball stripped away by Gophers big man Maurice Walker near the basket. No shot attempt, let alone a 3-pointer. Ballgame.

"He made that decision," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's got some options there. He's got action on his left, he's got action on his right, and he's got space. We trust him to make a play."

Gesell said Minnesota had a defensive mix-up, so he went for the keep-it-himself option.

"I felt like there was enough time to get a quick two, foul again, and hopefully they miss a free throw," said Gesell, who was held scoreless Thursday.

Skip in Skip
x

Embed

x
CLOSE

The Hawkeyes were down 62-59 but never got a shot off and fell to Minnesota. Mike Gesell was stripped by Maurice Walker in the lane.

But this night wasn't about one play. It was about a mostly miserable first 37 minutes — particularly the first half, when the Hawkeyes committed turnovers on 10-of-30 possessions (33.3 percent) and went 8:07 without a point after taking a 15-11 lead.

McCaffery didn't expend any of his five timeouts in the first half when things were spiraling and finished the game with two in hand.

"It's a philosophy of mine (to save them)," McCaffery said. "A lot of coaches, they burn them. They don't like what they see in two possessions, boom. I've coached against guys at 18:35, they call it. At halftime, they only have two left. ... I'm not going to tell you they're wrong and I'm right, but I'm going to tell you I'm going to save them."

Remarkably, the Hawkeyes' halftime deficit was a manageable 23-19, thanks to wonky Gophers shooting. But the second half provided more Iowa frustration.

"We didn't really play as a team like we did the last couple times," said Uthoff, who scored a team-high 17 points. "We didn't come up with the energy we needed to."

Andre Hollins scored 20 points to lead the Gophers (16-9, 5-7), who have won five of seven since losing to Iowa 77-75 on Jan. 13.

Iowa will aim to regroup for Sunday's 2 p.m. contest at last-in-the-league Northwestern (10-14, 1-10) — which stunned the Hawkeyes in last year's Big Ten Tournament, likely forcing them into the NCAA Tournament's First Four.

Uthoff, for one, is ready for redemption.

"I don't forget something like that," Uthoff said.

Skip in Skip
x

Embed

x
CLOSE

The Iowa coach did not use any in an ugly first half against Minnesota and finished the 64-59 loss with two in his pocket.

MINNESOTA (64)

MIN

FG

3P

FT

RB

A

TO

TP

Walker

23

1-5

0-0

5-6

3

0

0

7

Buggs

26

3-5

1-2

0-0

4

0

1

7

King

29

2-6

0-3

0-0

2

1

1

4

Hollins

32

7-14

4-8

2-2

3

3

1

20

Mathieu

23

3-10

0-2

0-0

6

0

0

6

Mason

26

4-10

1-3

3-7

1

2

0

12

Morris

18

3-7

0-1

0-2

1

1

0

6

Diedhiou

6

0-0

0-0

0-0

1

0

0

0

Eliason

17

0-0

0-0

2-2

5

0

1

2

Team

4

Totals

200

23-57

6-19

12-19

30

7

6

64

IOWA (59)

MIN

FG

3P

FT

RB

A

TO

TP

Uthoff

33

5-12

1-3

6-7

7

2

1

17

White

34

5-10

0-1

3-3

8

1

3

13

Woodbury

22

2-3

0-0

0-2

3

2

2

4

Jok

31

5-10

2-5

4-4

4

1

3

16

Gesell

30

0-4

0-1

0-0

3

4

3

0

Olaseni

17

1-2

0-0

0-0

4

1

1

2

Oglesby

11

0-0

0-0

0-0

0

1

1

0

Clemmons

14

2-4

1-2

0-0

2

2

1

5

Uhl

8

1-4

0-2

0-0

3

0

0

2

Team

4

Totals

200

21-49

4-14

13-16

38

14

16

59

Halftime—Minnesota 23-19. Team fouls—Minnesota 21, Iowa 17. Fouled out—Woodbury. Attendance—13,756.

LINKEDIN 7 COMMENTMORE