The Minnesota Golden Gophers hoped to go into Iowa City on Wednesday night and capitalize on the momentum they had gained from their overtime victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday. By the time the dust settled, however, that momentum was nowhere to be found, as the Gophers fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes by a final score of 63-59.
It looked like the Gophers were going to get blown out early on, as they were down 17-5 midway through the first half after turning the ball over ten times. However, Iowa's shots stopped falling, and the Gophers went on a 22-7 run to finish the first half and give them a lead going into halftime. Minnesota carried their first half finish into the second half, taking a 45-35 lead with 12 minutes left in regulation.
However, the Minnesota lead quicly evaporated, with the Hawkeyes going on a 16-5 run that saw them take a 51-50 lead with a little more than five minutes remaining in the ball game. The Gophers then got a series of three-pointers from Julian Welch, Austin Hollins, and Oto Osenieks to take a 59-54 lead with 3:24 remaining. The three-pointer from Osenieks was the final basket the Gophers would score on the evening, as the Hawkeyes went on a 9-0 run to close the game out and provide the final margin of victory.
Iowa guard Matt Gatens led all scorers with 18 points, and forward Zach McCabe chipped in with eight points and ten rebounds on the night. The Gophers were paced by Ralph Sampson III, who scored 13. Welch added 12 and Hollins scored 11 in the losing effort.
The loss drops the Gophers to 16-7 overall, and 4-6 in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes are also 4-6 in the Big Ten, and possess a record of 12-11 overall.
Minnesota's next game will take place on Sunday, as they will travel to Lincoln to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers.