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Men's basketball: Hawkeyes soar past Gophers 72-51

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Down by 16 points just seven minutes into play, Iowa’s slim NCAA tournament hopes appeared set to vanish.

The Hawkeyes responded with one of the most brilliant stretches of play in the program’s history.

Devyn Marble and Aaron White each had 15 points as Iowa shrugged off an early 21-5 deficit and rolled past Minnesota 72-51 on Sunday for its third straight win.

Freshman Mike Gesell added 11 for the Hawkeyes (17-9, 6-7 Big Ten), who’ve rattled off three consecutive Big Ten victories for the first time in six years.

“They were on the road and they jumped us,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “Our team could have wilted right there. But we haven’t shown that we’re going to do that.”

Iowa outscored Minnesota 37-10 in a 20-minute stretch spanning the halves, using a zone defense to stymie the Gophers and pull ahead 42-31 with 15:14 left.

Eric May’s 3 with 8:50 left made it 53-37 Iowa, and a game that started off as a Minnesota rout became a Hawkeyes blowout.

Austin Hollins had 14 points for the Gophers (18-8, 6-7), who’ve lost three of four and are now tied with Iowa in the league standings.

“I don’t know if I’ve seen such a dramatic turnaround in such a short time as a coach of any team that I’ve had,” said Minnesota’s Tubby Smith, who has been coaching college ball since 1979. “That’s about as disappointing of a loss as I’ve ever had.”