A most unlikely outburst carries Gophers past No. 20 Iowa

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2014 - 3:08 PM

With hot long-range shooting from a pair of unexpected sources, the Gophers scored a much-needed victory.

One player hadn’t broken three minutes in the Big Ten slate. The other had managed to shoot only 10 percent from beyond the arc in the past 13 games.

Together, the unlikely pair caught fire Tuesday night, transforming the flickering Gophers into an offensive firestorm.

On the heels of two of the season’s worst losses, putting their team’s NCAA tournament hopes in doubt, freshman Charles Buggs and senior Austin Hollins combined for 40 points and seven three-pointers before the Gophers held on to beat 20th-ranked Iowa 95-89 in by far the biggest victory of the season.

“I’ve always said from Day 1 with Charles — he’s got the best potential of anyone on this team,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. “He showed you tonight. He hasn’t played all year and he hits three threes. That’s him.”

Buggs might have gotten it started, but soon, the entire team was flexing its offensive muscles to the delight of a raucous crowd announced at 14,625 at Williams Arena. The Gophers (18-11, 7-9 Big Ten) shot 61.2 percent from the field, with four players reaching double digits: career highs of 27 for Austin Hollins and 13 for Buggs, plus 19 from DeAndre Mathieu and 14 from Andre Hollins.

The Gophers led 80-67 with 8 minutes, 23 seconds to play before Iowa cut that deficit to four, as the suddenly sloppy home team committed turnovers in three of four possessions and began bouncing shots off the rim.

But the Gophers hit 15 of 17 free throws in the final 3:02 to hang on.

“I think it was just our mentality — we came out against Ohio State [on Saturday, a 64-46 loss] and we played a great first half and we just blew it,” Andre Hollins said. “Tonight we kept it going, we fought, we won, we willed our way to victory.”

The Gophers trailed 32-21 a little more than 12 minutes in after Iowa (19-8, 8-6) and Devyn Marble came out swinging. The Hawkeyes set the pace at 99 miles per hour and, much like in the second half of the teams’ first meeting in Iowa City, seemed capable of simply overpowering the Gophers, who sent Iowa to the line 14 times in the first half.

But that’s when the Gophers came storming back.

With centers Elliott Eliason and Mo Walker both in foul trouble and forward Oto Osenieks out because of a left knee injury, Pitino sent in Buggs, who had played in only five games all season.

Almost instantly, the 6-9 forward vindicated that decision.

It started with a three-pointer, pulling the Gophers back within 32-24, and Buggs took off from there. He went 5-for-6 from the field and 3-for-3 from three-point range, scoring 11 points in the first half after scoring five points all season coming in.

“They were leaving him open like they weren’t expecting him to make it,” Mathieu said. “He made like three. I found him in the corner and he made another one. I was yeah, Buggs, keep shooting. And he didn’t have no problem with that.”

As Buggs came alive, so did Austin Hollins, dramatically breaking out of his slump.

With the pair tag-teaming to light up the scoreboard with three-pointers — Hollins had 18 points by halftime — the Gophers ignited for an improbable 30-9 run.

Marble netted five points in the final 38 seconds to bring Iowa within 51-47, but after scoring 19 points in the first half, he was held to five in the second.

As a result, the Gophers are back on the NCAA bubble with two regular-season games left.

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Gophers basketball 95, Iowa 89

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

  • Poll: Will the Gophers make the NCAA men's basketball tournament?

    Tuesday March 4, 2014

  • Postgame: Gophers fans have reason for excitement again

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

    The Gophers were badly in need of a spark. They got it on Tuesday with the biggest win of the year.

  • Reusse: Austin Hollins enjoys a long-overdue big night

    Wednesday February 26, 2014

    Against Iowa on Tuesday, Austin Hollins went 8-for-10 from the field, 7-for-7 on free throws and finished with a career-high 27 points.

  • Photo gallery: Gophers 95, Iowa 89

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

    The Gophers hit 15 of 18 free throws in the final 3:02 to hang on for a much-needed victory...

  • Gophers-Iowa game recap

    Tuesday February 25, 2014

    GAME RECAPIMPACT PLAYER Austin Hollins, GophersAfter not looking quite himself for much of the Big Ten schedule, the senior came...

  • Gopher Elliot Eliason celebrated on the bench as the Gophers made their free throws during the second half

  • Minnesota guard Andre Hollins (1) looks to pass to a teammate under pressure from Iowa guard Mike Gesell, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Minneapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.

  • Gophers senior Austin Hollins elevated over Iowa guard Mike Gesell for a second-half layup Tuesday night at Williams Arena. Hollins shot 8-for-10 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from three-point range, in scoring a career-high 27 points.

  • Austin Hollins drove to the basket past Iowa’s Adam Woodbury during the second half. Hollins scored 27 points.

  • minnesota 95, no. 20 iowa 89

    Up next: 5 p.m. Saturday at No. 16 Michigan • TV: BTN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas - WP: C. Lewis 12 FINAL
Seattle - LP: E. Ramirez 4
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Boston - J. Kelly 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Stroman
NY Yankees - S. Greene 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pm
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which football team will have the best record in 2014?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close