The Takeaways: Hawkeyes Pull Out A Win At Minnesota

Iowa's Ryan Kriener (15) and Connor McCaffery celebrate after the 58-55 win at Minnesota on Sunday. (David Berding/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Luka Garza scored the first 10 points of the game, then spent the rest of the day in foul trouble.

Joe Wieskamp had two points.

CJ Fredrick was in a suit, out with an ankle injury.

Iowa trailed by eight points with 5 1/2 minutes to go.

All of that didn't matter in what turned out to be one of the Hawkeyes' biggest wins of the season.

The 58-55 victory at Minnesota on Sunday afternoon was another example of how this team continues to not be affected by adversity.

Iowa is now 18-8 overall, and 9-6 in the Big Ten. In a week that included an ugly loss at Indiana, the Hawkeyes finished in a tie for third place in the conference with five games to play.

Thursday's defeat to the Hoosiers, with Fredrick going down with an ankle injury, brought out the naysayers ready to jump on another February fade by the Hawkeyes.

Instead, they're 3-2 for the month, with three of their next four games at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, where they are 12-1 this season.

The takeaways from Sunday's game:

They can stay in games without Garza

Garza finished with 24 points, his 11th consecutive Big Ten game of 20 points or more. That's the most of any player in the conference in 20 seasons, and the most of any Hawkeye in 49 years.

But Garza played just 28 minutes as he picked up two fouls in the first half. When he went out with his fourth foul in the second half, Minnesota went on an 8-0 run to take a 55-47 lead.

After his return, the Hawkeyes went on their 11-0 run to complete the win.

It was similar to Iowa's win at Northwestern this season, when Garza ran into foul trouble and wasn't much of a factor late in the first half and early in the second half.

The Hawkeyes need Garza in the game, but they continue to learn they can do things to keep going when he isn't in there.

Wieskamp's struggles

The sophomore, who is Iowa's second leading scorer this season, had just two points on 1-of-7 shooting.

Combine that with Garza's foul trouble, and no Fredrick, it could have doomed the Hawkeyes.

A blueprint has been developed on the Hawkeyes, and it includes taking Wieskamp away while doing what you can on Garza.

Wieskamp will have to continue to find ways to adjust.

Big minutes from the bench

Ryan Kriener, who moved into the starting lineup with Fredrick out, was the only other Hawkeye in double figures, finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Cordell Pemsl missed Thursday's game on a one-game suspension. He came back to score six points, making all three of his shots, while adding three rebounds. He didn't have a turnover in 17 minutes.

Bakari Evelyn was just as important. The graduate transfer had seven points and three assists in 29 minutes. He'll get those kind of minutes as long as Fredrick is out.

Connor's game

Connor McCaffery had just six points in 39 points, but his last one was the free throw with two seconds left that provided Iowa's final point.

His biggest stat? Seven assists, no turnovers. Throw in four rebounds, including the one on Daniel Oturu's missed free throw with three seconds left, and that's a productive game.

Just surviving

The second half could have easily put the Hawkeyes away — other Iowa teams have faded in road tests like this.

For this one, it was a defense that held the Gophers scoreless over the final 5:25. That's something the Hawkeyes haven't been able to do on the road lately.

This team keeps finding ways to win. 

And finding ways to confound the doubters.

Comments (1)

Time for everyone to quit talking about the "Fran Fade."