Fran McCaffery

Fran McCaffery

Iowa is alone in first place in the Big Ten Conference but it was not easy as the fourth ranked Hawkeyes had to fight off pesky Minnesota for a 75-71 victory in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Iowa took the lead for good with a 12-2 run to close the first half but the Gophers cut a 10 point Hawkeye lead to two in the waning moments. It was an ugly game that featured a total of 47 fouls.

“You know every one of their games has been very similar to this one”, said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. “They challenge you at the rim and share the ball and Nate Mason is a handful. They outrebounded us and luckily we did not turn the ball over and we got the defensive stops late when we needed them”

Peter Jok led Iowa with 27 points. Jarrod Uthoff added 24 points, a career high 15 rebounds and six blocked shots.

Iowa improves to 11-2 in the Big Ten and 20-5 overall.