Hoosiers Late Surge Comes Up Short In Loss at Minnesota, 67-63
Jan. 4, 2011
MINNEAPOLIS - Despite one of its best defensive efforts of the season, a late Indiana rally wasn't enough as the Hoosiers fell at #21 Minnesota, 67-63, Wednesday night.
"I say it all the time," said IU Coach Tom Crean. "The margin for error in these type of games is so small," Crean said. "Those kind of things come back and they can get you."
The game started with both teams flexing their muscle on defense with Minnesota holding a slim 13-11 lead through the first 10 minutes. However the Gophers were able to extend the advantage to 20-13 with 7:49 to go.
Using 19 points off the bench in the first half including seven apiece from freshmen Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey spurred a 19-3 run which saw the Hoosiers build a 32-23 advantage. Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber would hit a three-pointer to end a 15-0 run and Indiana went into the locker room with a 32-26 lead.
"We're a better team than we were last Monday night, noted Crean. "We've started to make some turns back where we needed to be in the second half against Ohio State. We've had really good days of work and I had great confidence that we'd win this game, great confidence."
Indiana led by as many as eight in the second half, but Minnesota was able to rally and recapture the lea at 40-38 with 12:42 to go. Both teams would go back and forth with the Hoosiers taking its last lead at 51-49 on a jumper by Verdell Jones III with 8:32 left.
Minnesota would score the next 10 points to take command, but late three-pointers by sophomore Maurice Creek and Jones would cut the Minnesota lead to 65-63. Senior Jeremiah Rivers deflected the inbounds pass, but sophomore Jordan Hulls was whistled for a foul and Hoffarber would hit two free throws to ice the game.
Jones III and Oladipo would leed the way with 13 points apiece. Creek would add 12 and Hulls would chip in 10.
"We're a better team," said Crean. "We are not the team that was here last year. We are not the team that was here last week. It's a better team. We had our chances. This would have been a big game to get. I loved our plan. I loved our mindset. I loved our preparation. It's early in the (Big Ten) season. I wish we had the win. I wish we had the win last Monday night, but we don't so we just keep moving forward and get ready to go play Northwestern."
The Hoosiers will vist Northwestern, Sunday night in Evanston. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. eastern.
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