At the buzzer: Indiana 84, Minnesota 79
Quick thoughts on an 84-79 win at Minnesota:
How it happened: Indiana came out firing on Sunday evening at Williams Arena. Minnesota went under screens, played some zone and the Hoosiers took advantage. Indiana connected on five of its first seven attempts from beyond the 3-point arc. The Hoosiers led by 12 at 27-15 at the 10:17 mark of the first half. But Minnesota got hot to close out the half and Indiana had to settle for a 40-33 lead at intermission. In the first half, Xavier Johnson’s 16 points were key as IU scored 1.24 points per possession. The Hoosiers shot 53.3 percent.
The Hoosiers stretched the lead to 13 at 49-36 by the first media timeout of the second half. Indiana made three of its first six shots in the second half and was able to extend the lead thanks to a poor start for Minnesota. The Gophers were 1-of-4 to start the second half with three turnovers. By the 13:48 mark, Indiana led 53-36 after a Jordan Geronimo dunk in transition. Miller Kopp made a 3-pointer and a jumper to stretch the lead to 20 at 58-38 at the 12:29 mark. A Rob Phinisee 3-pointer gave Indiana a 25-point lead with 10:33 to play. Another Phinisee 3-pointer made the lead 27 with 8:21 to go.
Minnesota, however, didn’t quit fighting as Indiana relaxed with a big lead. The Golden Gophers used a 24-4 run to get within seven on a Payton Willis 3-pointer with 2:36 to go. Johnson pushed the lead back to nine with a pair of free throws with 2:04 to play. Minnesota kept battling and got within three on an E.J. Stephens 3-pointer with just over five seconds to play. Johnson made two free throws with 3.9 seconds to go to make it a five-point lead and clinch the victory.
The win, Indiana’s 18th of the season, improved the Hoosiers to 9-9 in conference play with two regular season games to go.
Standout performer: Johnson was brilliant for a second straight game, finishing with 21 points, eight assists and six rebounds in 31 minutes.
Statistic that stands out: Indiana made 10-of-21 3-pointers (47.6 percent) and scored 1.23 points per possession.
Final IU individual statistics:
Final tempo-free statistics:
Assembly Call postgame show:
(Photo credit: IU Athletics)
Filed to: Minnesota Golden Gophers