MINNEAPOLIS – Austin Hollins and his Minnesota teammates were in one of those familiar February slumps. They fueled all that frustration into their finest shooting performance of the season, and No. 20 Iowa had the misfortune of being in the way.
Hollins scored a career-high 27 points on 8-for-10 shooting, DeAndre Mathieu had 19 points and seven assists and the Gophers bounced back with a 95-89 victory Tuesday night.
The Gophers (18-11, 7-9 Big Ten) had lost six of their previous eight games.
Guys didn’t let that affect them. They were really motivated to work and get better and come out here and get this win, said Hollins, who went 4 for 6 from 3-point range and 7 for 7 from the free throw line.
We believe in what we’re doing. We’ve had some games that haven’t been great. We’ve had some games that have been great. Tonight was a great one, coach Richard Pitino said.
Roy Devyn Marble had only five of his 24 points in the second half for the Hawkeyes (19-8, 8-6), who have their first two-game losing streak of the season. All six of their previous defeats were by teams currently ranked in the top 22 of the latest Associated Press poll.
Aaron White added 21 points, and Josh Oglesby scored 16 in his first start of the season with Melsahn Basabe held out because of an illness.
After managing just 54, 49 and 46 points in each of their last three games, the Gophers snapped to life with a 51-point first half.
No. 1 FLORIDA 57, VANDERBILT 54: In Nashville, Tenn., Dorian Finney-Smith scored 19 points as the Gators (26-2, 15-0) held on to clinch at least a share of their second straight Southeastern Conference title and seventh overall.
The Commodores (15-12, 7-8) beat Florida 83-70 the last time the Gators came into Memorial Gym ranked No. 1, on Feb. 17, 2007.
No. 2 WICHITA STATE 69, BRADLEY 49: In Peoria, Ill., Ron Baker scored 15 points to lead four in double figures as the Shockers (30-0, 17-0 Missouri Valley Conference) became the first Division I team to reach 30-0 in the regular season. Wichita State is the 11th team to reach 30-0.
No. 6 DUKE 66, VIRGINIA TECH 48: In Durham, N.C., Rodney Hood scored 21 points to help the Blue Devils (23-6, 12-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) in the win.
The last-place Hokies (9-18, 2-13) had a strong start to the second half and got within seven points, but never seriously threatened.
No. 25 NEW MEXICO 67, UTAH STATE 58: In Albuquerque, N.M., Cullen Neal scored nine of his 12 points in a decisive run in the second half to help the Lobos (22-5, 13-3 Mountain West) in the win.
Medlin scored 19 to lead the Aggies (15-13, 5-10).
WRIGHT STATE 67, VALPARAISO 58: In Dayton, Ohio, AJ Pacher scored 20 points, including 7 of 7 from the line, as the Raiders (17-13, 9-6 Horizon) won.
Alec Peters led the Crusaders (17-13, 9-6) with 11 points, while Vashil Fernandez added 10 points and three blocked shots.
EVANSVILLE 61, DRAKE 48: In Evansville, D.J. Balentine scored 23 points and had seven assists in the Aces’ (12-18, 5-12 Missouri Valley Conference) final home game of the season.
Ten players scored for the Bulldogs (14-15, 5-12) but none were in double figures.
No. 1 CONNECTICUT 81, SMU 48: In Dallas, Bria Hartley scored 25 points, Breanna Stewart added 23 and the Huskies (29-0, 16-0 American Athletic) broke open a close game late in the first half on the way to the win.
Keena Mays scored 13 points to lead the Mustangs (16-11, 7-9).