Iowa State 68, Minnesota 63
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Mike Taylor had 25 of his 33 points in the second half, helping Iowa State come back to beat Minnesota 68-63 on Tuesday night.
Spencer Tollackson had a career-high 24 points, plus 13 rebounds, and Lawrence McKenzie added 15 points for Minnesota (2-1). Rahshon Clark had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Iowa State (5-0).
Tollackson, whose status was in question after hurting his foot in Friday’s game against Long Island, threw down a dunk to give the Gophers their biggest lead, 35-25, about 3 minutes into the second half. The bulky, bearded 6-foot-9 junior traded chest bumps with nearly half his team as he bounced over to the bench for a timeout.
Taylor, a junior college transfer and native of Milwaukee, kept the Cyclones in it, though, tying the game on a 3-pointer with just under 6 minutes remaining.
Tollackson missed two short shots underneath right before the 2-minute mark, the second off a rebound. Taylor’s 3-pointer on the next possession bounced high off the back of the rim and, luckily, down through the net to put Iowa State ahead for good, 61-58.
Dan Coleman—who had 12 rebounds—missed a 3-pointer on the other end, and Taylor found Jessan Gray for a layup after driving to the basket to seal the game.
These teams last met in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2005, when Iowa State advanced with a 64-53 victory in Charlotte, N.C. Coleman and Tollackson are the only Gophers who were around for that game, and for the Cyclones it’s just Clark.
That’s the only time Minnesota has made the tournament in coach Dan Monson’s eight seasons here, and he has another young, pieced-together team—without any seniors—that is searching again for an identity.
But Iowa State is in the same situation, with only four scholarship players returning to the program under new coach Greg McDermott. Nearly three quarters of the team’s scoring has come from guys who didn’t play for the Cyclones last year, whether freshmen, including Duluth East product Cory Johnson, or junior college transfers.
Iowa State’s 6-foot-11 Jiri Hubalek is serving a six-game suspension for breaking NCAA rules to start the season, and his presence was missed in the middle against Tollackson.
Ten of his points were earned at the foul line, and he capped a 16-4 spurt over the final 10 minutes of an even first half by swishing two free throws with 1:17 left. That gave the Gophers a 28-23 lead, their biggest at the time, until Taylor’s jump shot just before the break helped the Cyclones climb within three.
Minnesota, which will complete in an eight-team, three-game tournament this weekend in Orlando, Fla., started a stretch of playing five games in nine days.
There were plenty of noisy Iowa State fans in attendance wearing their red shirts, and they erupted when former Cyclones star Fred Hoiberg—who is an assistant general manager for the Minnesota Timberwolves—was shown on the scoreboard in the second half.