IOWA CITY – Iowa looked like a goner against Minnesota for much of Sunday’s contest in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but a huge comeback in the second half propelled the Hawkeyes past the Gophers, 90-85.
Minnesota led 51-38 at the half and pushed its lead to 62-42 with 16:11 to play. Iowa used a 9-0 run midway through the half to close the gap to 70-62 and a 16-0 run to take a 81-77 lead with 4:05 remaining. It was Iowa’s first lead since 4-2 at 18:38. The 20-point comeback victory is tied for the fourth largest comeback win in school history. (Iowa came down from 20 points down at Illinois in 2018.) It is Iowa’s largest second-half comeback en route to a win since trailing by 22 at Illinois in 1987.
Iowa had a 19-2 run in the second half during the comeback. It is the second straight year with at least a 19-2 run (20-2, vs. Iowa State).
The Hawkeyes closed the game on a 37-15 run over the final 11:43. Iowa outscored Minnesota, 52-34, in the second half.
Junior Payton Sandfort scored 21 points on 7-of-17 shooting, including 12 in the second half. He also had eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. It is his sixth 20-point game this season.
Senior Patrick McCaffery finished with 20 points, making 7-of-12 field goals, including two 3-pointers and all five free throws. It was his second 20 point game this season and the seventh of his career. He has reached double figures in three straight games and in 12 games this season. McCaffery is now 34 points shy of becoming Iowa’s 53rd 1,000 point scorer.
Freshman Owen Freeman recorded his fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 17 points, 14 rebounds, four blocks and four assists. Freeman made 7-of-13 field goals en route to his 13th game in double figures this season. His 14 rebounds and four assists are both career-highs. His four double-doubles are a team high and matches Luka Garza for the most double-doubles by a Hawkeye freshman since 2017-18. Freeman also had four blocks, moving him into third place in school history in blocks by a Hawkeye freshman (41). Freeman has eight games this season with three or more blocks.
Senior Tony Perkins finished with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. He was 10-of-13 from the free throw stripe.
It is his 15th straight game in double figures and his 22nd in 24 games this season.
The Hawkeyes return to action Wednesday, traveling to College Park to face Maryland at 7:30 p.m. (CT).