Iowa saw a second half lead melt away into another Big Ten loss Sunday. Minnesota hit a three with 11.5 seconds left in the game to take a one-point lead, Iowa then turned the ball over and had to foul.
The Gophers made two free throws and Iowa missed a three at the buzzer to tie the game, and they fell 62-59 in Minneapolis.
Hawkeye Freshman Mike Gessell said in the post game that they needed to play better defensively late in the game.
“We’ve got to do a better job of not giving up a three in that situation, I mean, we’re up two, the worst thing we could do is give up a three…we had our chances, we just dug too big a hole right at the beginning of the game and weren’t ready to go,”Gessell says.
He says it’s another tough loss, but they have to move on.
“We’ve had a few that we’ve let go this year, and we’ve gotta just put those past us and we’ve just got to keep positive. We’ve got a bunch of games coming up still and we’ve got to move on,” Gessell said.
Head coach Fran McCaffery said the slow start to the game was as tough as the way it ended. “I think that that’s the most disappointing thing, that we would come on the road in this environment with an opportunity to do something special, and get down 14-2. That is phenomenally disappointing,” according to McCaffery.
He said he thought they could have gotten there a little quicker on the three that put Minnesota ahead as it was their best three-point shooter. McCaffery said you might give up a jump shot when playing a zone, but you try to force something else.
“The reality is that we really don’t want to give up a clean three by their best shooting that situation. That said, if the shot goes in an out, we win the game probably,” McCaffery said. Gessell led Iowa with 11 points, while Aaron White and Zach McCabe each had 10.
Iowa is now 14-8 overall and 3-6 in the Big Ten. They go on the road to Wisconsin Wednesday.