116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MINNEAPOLIS — Iowa avoided an epic collapse and defeated a depleted Minnesota men’s basketball team Sunday afternoon in Williams Arena, 81-71.
The Hawkeyes improved to 13-4 overall, 3-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota is 10-5, 1-5.
Iowa led 58-35 with 14:48 left, but Eylijah Stephens scored 13 of his 24 points after that in leading the Gophers to pull within 74-71 with 1:30 left.
Keegan Murray’s 3-pointer with two seconds left on the shot clock and: 59 remaining on the game clock made it 77-71, and Minnesota didn’t score again.
Playing with just seven scholarship players because of an ankle injury to starting forward Eric Curry and COVID-19 issues with others, Minnesota was undersized and outmanned. The Gophers took a 7-2 lead, but Iowa reeled off the next eight points and never gave up the lead.
The Hawkeyes used a 15-4 run to establish a 43-27 halftime advantage, built on a 25-15 edge in rebounds and just two turnovers to the Gophers’ six.
Murray had 25 points for Iowa. McCaffery, Filip Rebraca and Jordan Bohannon had 12 apiece.
Iowa’s next game is Wednesday night at Rutgers.