With 16.3 seconds remaining and trailing by two points, Tubby Smith had to draw up the perfect play. He did just that as Austin Hollins and Minnesota needed to score the game’s final seven points Sunday to secure a victory over Iowa, 62-59.
The Gophers (17-5, 5-4) have struggled mightily on in-bounds plays all season. From the original look of the play with seconds remaining, Minnesota appeared ready to crumble once more in the final seconds.
He finally spotted Austin Hollins coming to the right corner and shoved the ball to his chest. Hollins instantly shot the three-pointer and drained the basket, giving the Gophers the one-point lead. On the following possession, Hollins was huge once more, this time on defense.
Point guard Aaron White got his shot tipped by Hollins as the Gopher scrambled for the turnover. Two free throws later, the game was sealed.
Hollins finished with a game-high 17 points in 35 minutes. The junior made the most of his second half points after scoring 11 in the opening half.
He was not the only Hollins to have a good game. Andre finished with 15 points, eight assists, and six rebounds in a game-high 37 minutes.
Minnesota is now 12-1 at home this season.
The Hawkeyes’ (14-8, 3-6) starting lineup was shut down for the majority of the game. Leading scorer, Roy Marble, did not score but it was the Iowa bench that kept Fran McCaffery and company in the contest.
Zach McCabe and Josh Oglesby combined for 15 points in the first half, but only added three points in the second half. Iowa’s bench outscored Minnesota’s, 27-0. The Iowa bench also accumulated 10 assists and six steals.
Point guard Mike Gesell had a team-high 11 points for the Hawkeyes. He also snagged six rebounds and three assists.
As a team, Iowa had 17 assists on 21 made field goals.
After being swept by the Hawkeyes in the regular season a year ago, the Minnesota lineup had to prove that this year was different than the rest.
The lineup included a lot of Elliott Eliason on Sunday. Eliason played 19 minutes off of the bench and was a defensive stopper for the Gophers. Besides the stat line of six rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks, the center allowed the lineup to go large.
Smith went with a big lineup for parts of the Wisconsin game, but he has gained confidence in the lineup after Tuesday’s performance against Nebraska.
The implementation of the new lineup allowed for a multitude of defensive fouls from Iowa. Minnesota got to the free-throw line 21 times, nailing 14 of them.