Photo: @NadineBabu (Twitter)
University of Minnesota fans rushed the court Tuesday night, as the Gophers beat the No. 1 ranked Indiana Hoosiers. This not only marks the Hoosiers fourth loss this season, but also their fourth loss to an unranked team.
Leading his team in points scored during the first half, University of Minnesota Senior Trevor Mbakwe would continue his run and lead his team throughout the game, ending with a total of 21 points scored.
Finding themselves struggling both offensively and defensively, the Hoosiers lacked strong execution from its key players during the game. Indiana would gain their biggest lead of the night over Minnesota during the second half, but their efforts were put to rest as the Gophers once again came back to take control of the scoreboard.
With many of IU’s key starters failing to make good contact with the basket, two players helped carry the team throughout the game. Jordan Hulls led the Hoosiers in points scored with 17, and Victor Oladipo scored 16. Hulls used the three-point line to his advantage, making 5-7 attempt. He also made 6-9 attempted field goals.
The normally strong player for Indiana, Christian Watford, seemed to be absent from tonight’s game. The junior scored eight points for the Hoosiers, but all of these would be earned during the second half. Of these points, he made only two three-pointers tonight. This compares to the 15 points Watford made the last time IU hosted Minnesota in January.
Along with Watford, the rest of the Hoosier line-up seemed to be lacking in execution. After only scoring two points in the first half, Cody Zeller would end the game with nine points after earning his fifth foul and being benched within the last minute of the game.
Minnesota led in rebounds and assists Tuesday over the Hoosiers, ending with 38 and 17 respectively compared to IU’s 25 ad 12. Both of the teams ended the game with 10 turnovers.
After their defeat, the Hoosiers now have a record of 24-4 overall and 12-3 in the Big Ten conference. Indiana comes back home to Assembly Hall Saturday for their ‘Senior Night’ as they take on Iowa at 7:30 p.m..
IU began the game winning the tip-off at Minnesota’s home court. However, it was the Gophers who proved to start the game off dominant and instantly gained a lead on the scoreboard. Relying on a zone defense, Minnesota put tight pressure on the Hoosiers offense, preventing their key players from making plays.
The Hoosiers were first to put points on the board with the efforts of Oladipo, but Minnesota quickly stole the momentum on the court as Mbakwe earned points for his team. He continued with a strong performance throughout both halves.
Coming into the second half leading the Gophers 34-30, Indiana was not able to find their rhythm for the rest of the game. The Hoosiers would make three three-pointers within the last minute of the game, trying to make a comeback, but their effort was not enough as Minnesota walked away with the win.