Andre Hollins, who had 15 points, made two free throws to stretch the lead to three, and Gesell's tying attempt rolled off the front rim. Gesell finished with 11 points, and Aaron White and Zach McCabe each had 10 for the Hawkeyes.
Before Gesell's miss at the buzzer, the Hawkeyes turned the ball over on three straight possessions. Junior Roy Devyn Marble went scoreless for Iowa for the first time since his freshman year. Joe Coleman had 12 points despite five turnovers for Minnesota. Rodney Williams added 10 points and had two of the team's seven blocked shots.
The student section started the "We hate Iowa!" chant right away, and the Gophers surged ahead 14-2 behind their full-court press.
Coach Fran McCaffrey brought Josh Oglesby and McCabe off the bench, and the Hawkeyes began to crack the pressure by finding and making open shots on the wing. McCabe hit consecutive 3-pointers in a 31-second span to bring the Hawkeyes with 19-18, and the game was tight the rest of the way.
The Gophers tweaked their half-court offense, using more high-low passing and baseline and backdoor cuts to create some openings for high-percentage shots. But the long-armed Hawkeyes made them work for every basket underneath, often preventing them with hard fouls in the paint.
Neither team led by more than four points in the second half. Iowa went up 54-50 with 5:13 remaining when White — coming off a career-high 27 points Thursday in a win over Penn State — soared into the lane over Trevor Mbakwe for a three-point play. The Hawkeyes later had a chance to build on a 56-53 lead but missed three shots inside. Instead, Williams got free for a dunk with 2:39 left that brought Minnesota back within one.