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Gophers can't maintain hot start against Iowa

A second-half barrage sent Minnesota to another Big Ten loss.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers got off to a hot start against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday but a scorching performance in the second half sent Minnesota to a 71-59 defeat.

Minnesota came out of the locker room on fire, scoring the first seven points of the game. Payton Willis scored 16 points on the afternoon to help the cause and a half-court buzzer-beater by Luke Loewe helped the Gophers go into the locker room with a 38-34 lead.

But while the Gophers held Keegan Murray in check during the first half, that changed after halftime. Murray wound up with a game-high 24 points and 15 rebounds while Iowa's defense tightened up after facing a five-point deficit with 16:48 to play.

The Hawkeyes outscored the Gophers 29-12 from that point, getting a huge contribution from Patrick McCaffrey. With 18 points and seven rebounds, McCaffrey helped Iowa run away and send Minnesota to its eighth loss in the past nine games.

Minnesota (11-9, 2-9 Big Ten) will try to get off their slide when they host last-place Nebraska on Wednesday night.

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