Garza scores 33, No. 5 Iowa beats No. 16 Minnesota 86-71
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Jordan Bohannon knew what was his favorite number was on his final box score.
The Iowa senior guard had 19 points and a career-high 14 assists, Luka Garza had 33 points and the No. 5 Hawkeyes beat No. 16 Minnesota 86-71 on Sunday.
Bohannon also had seven rebounds and zero turnovers in almost 36 minutes.
“You know me, it’s the zero turnovers,” Bohannon said when asked what was his best statistic of the day. “That’s something I always pride myself in, to not turn the ball over. Be steady with the ball and find guys.”
It was Bohannon’s overall line that impressed Iowa coach Fran McCaffery.
“He has always really been tremendous in our fast break and in our ability to push it,” McCaffery said. “From the opening tip today, he was pushing the ball and finding people. I thought his decisions — when to shoot, when to drive, when to move it, when to get it in the post — were tremendous. Practically perfect.”
Joe Wieskamp added 20 points for the Hawkeyes (11-2, 5-1 Big Ten), who avenged a 102-95 overtime loss to the Gophers on Christmas Day.
“If it wasn’t for Luka making his layups, I wouldn’t have 14 assists,” Bohannon said. “I think that more than 95% of my passes were assists to him.”
Iowa had 27 assists on 31 field goals.
“Our guards are really unselfish,” Garza said. “When we get out on transition, that’s when we’re at our best. J-Bo was finding me tonight.”
Bohannon missed most of last season because of surgeries on both of his hips. He has scored 74 points in his last four games after totaling 27 in the previous five.
“I’ve been through hell for the last year and a half, two years,” Bohannon said. “It was a lot for me, mentally and physically. It took a lot of internal motivation for myself to get back to the player I know I can be.”
The Hawkeyes led 39-37 at halftime and opened the second half with a 22-6 run. Garza had 10 points in that stretch.
Garza, who came into the game leading the nation in scoring at 27.2 points per game, was 13 of 20 from the field.
Minnesota (10-4, 3-4) rallied from a 63-45 deficit to get within five twice late in the second half. It started to look like the Gophers’ earlier win against the Hawkeyes, when they rallied from seven points down with 44 seconds left in the second half to send it to overtime.
“We fought hard to get back within five, which is great,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “But then we took ill-advised shots. We just took some bad shots down the stretch and couldn’t get stops.”
Minnesota made just 10 3-pointers against the Hawkeyes after having 17 in the first matchup.
“Our loss up there on Christmas night was in the back of our minds,” Wieskamp said. “This one was kind of personal for us. They shot it well at their place, but they were getting open looks. So that was a key emphasis in this game, to get up in their space.”
Both Gach and Marcus Carr each had 13 points for the Gophers. Brandon Johnson had 12. Liam Robbins added 10. Carr had 30 points and Johnson had 26 against the Hawkeyes earlier this season.
Wieskamp, a junior, became the 50th player in Iowa’s history to score 1,000 career points. The 1,000th point came on a free throw with 17:48 left in the second half. “It’s a special accomplishment for me,” said Wieskamp, who has 1,009 career points.
Iowa won its fourth consecutive game and stayed within a half-game of the Big Ten lead. Minnesota, which went undefeated in nonconference play, lost for the third time in four games.
Iowa: At home against No. 23 Michigan State on Thursday
Minnesota: At home against No. 10 Michigan on Saturday.
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