Minnesota darted to an early 14-2 run and never relinquished the lead in the opening half as the Gophers lead the Hawkeyes, 29-28.
The teams dueled with its similar strength: athleticism. It allowed for Austin and Andre Hollins to enable Minnesota to go on its jolting start. Austin Hollins led with a game-high 11 points in the first half. Andre Hollins was all over the court in the opening half, adding seven points, three assists, and two rebounds.
The offense struggled as a whole in the first 20 minutes. The Gophers only made one three-pointer and only scored 15 points in the final 14 minutes of the half.
The floundering offense allowed for Iowa to sneak back into the game.
The Hawkeyes bench initiated its offense, going on a 10-1 run of its own. The bench outscored the starters in the first half. Josh Olgesby had eight points while Zach McCabe added seven points. Minnesota did not get any offense from its substitutes at half.
Iowa had 10 assists in the first half on 10 made field goals. The Hawkeyes’ top two scorers, Aaron White and Roy Marble combined for four points.
Elliott Eliason boosted the defense for Minnesota. He accumulated five rebounds and two blocks. The insertion of Eliason allowed Tubby Smith to go with a taller lineup for much of the first half.