NCAA BK

Sun, Jan 19, 2014 - 1:00 PM ET
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Minnesota-Iowa Preview

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Iowa has basked in a high-profile victory for the past week, but junior forward Aaron White knows that win can quickly be obscured by missteps during a tough Big Ten schedule.

The 14th-ranked Hawkeyes will try to avoid one Sunday when they host a Minnesota team that's seeking to knock off its second Top 25 opponent in as many games.

Iowa (14-3, 3-1) has had plenty of time to rest since rallying for an 84-74 win at then-No. 3 Ohio State last Sunday. It was the program's first victory over a top 5 opponent since an 83-65 rout of No. 2 Missouri on Dec. 15, 2001.

The Hawkeyes, whose three losses all came to teams currently in the top 10, used a 22-9 run to erase a nine-point deficit in the second half against the Buckeyes. Roy Devyn Marble led the way with 22 points, and White had 19 but was eager to move on to this week.

"It was only one game. You can never get too high or too low," White told the school's website. "It was good to get a win on the road against a highly ranked opponent and have all these people talk about us, but that doesn't mean we can slip up Sunday or down the road.

"You have to have the same focus and preparation day in and day out. ... We have a mature enough team and group of guys that we won't get too high off one win."

Perhaps helping the Hawkeyes re-focus is that Minnesota (14-4, 3-2) also beat now-No. 11 Ohio State 63-53 on Thursday at home, five days after pushing then-No. 5 Michigan State to overtime in an 87-75 defeat at East Lansing.

The Golden Gophers outshot the Buckeyes 51.1 percent to 35.3, and only needed three players in double figures, led by Deandre Mathieu with 13 points. Newly named team captain Elliott Eliason tied a career high with 12 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

While new coach Richard Pitino has emphasized a perimeter game this season, the Gophers beat Ohio State down low by posting a 39-24 rebounding advantage and a 38-20 edge on points in the paint.

"I thought we played tremendous defense. Elliott Eliason obviously impacted the game in so many ways. He was huge for us," Pitino said of the 6-foot-11 junior, who had two blocks and is second in the Big Ten with 2.7 per game.

"We finally started to go inside, and it was big for our basketball players. It was a great win. We've got to certainly learn from our mistakes and continue to get better."

Minnesota has split its last 14 games against Top 25 opponents but has dropped 48 of 50 such matchups on the road, though one of those wins came at Illinois last season.

Iowa has won 29 straight home games against unranked teams and has won three of four over Minnesota since losing six in a row.

The Hawkeyes blew out the Gophers 72-51 in Iowa City on Feb. 17 after losing at then-No. 23 Minnesota 62-59 on Feb. 3. Austin Hollins hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 11.6 seconds left in that game and led all scorers in last season's series with a 15.5 average.

He's averaging 11.8 points this season - second on the team to Andre Hollins (15.8) - but has scored 5.7 per game over the last three while shooting 5 for 17.

Tagged: Ohio State, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, Elliott Eliason

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