While the Hawkeyes (16-5, 5-5 Big Ten) were ranked No. 19, they’re one of the worst defensive teams in the Big Ten. Minnesota (15-5, 5-4) took advantage shooting 66 percent from the field and 57 percent for the game.
Iowa came into Sunday’s game 13th among 14 Big Ten teams in points allowed per game (72.7); Minnesota eclipsed that average with eight minutes left in the game.
But the Hawkeyes got back in the game with three-quarter-court press to helped spur an 11-0 run to cut Minnesota’s lead to 81-76 with 3:26 left.
Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey each had 23 points, with Murphy adding 11 rebounds. Gabe Kalscheur added 19. Iowa’s Luka Garza led all scorers with 25.
Minnesota’s two previous wins against top 25 teams this season were 85-78 over Nebraska at home Dec. 5 and 59-52 over Wisconsin on the road Jan. 3.
A pair of fast break alley-oops from Dupree McBrayer to Coffey energized The Barn’s biggest crowd of the season. Their first connection extended Minnesota’s lead to 61-51 and the second took it to 68-54.
After the second dunk, the Gophers went nearly seven minutes without a field goal, but the Hawkeyes were unable to take serious advantage before Kalscheur’s 3-pointer built a 74-63 lead.
With U freshman center Daniel Oturu out with a shoulder injury, the Gophers weren’t outmanned in the post. The Hawkeyes led 34-26 in rebounding, but Minnesota had a 40-38 edge in points in the pain.
In the second half, Murphy passed Purdue’s Joe Barry Carroll (1976-80) into second place on the Big Ten’s all-time rebounding list. Murphy now has 1,139 boards.
The Gophers took a first half-high nine-point lead at 50-41 with Murphy offensive rebound leading to a two-handed slam with two minutes to the half.
Then Murphy hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to matched their biggest lead, this time 55-46 at the half.