No. 7/8 Hoosiers Fall Short of Minnesota, 77-74
Jan. 12, 2012
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Freshman Cody Zeller led all players with 23 points, to go with eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough as the No. 7/8 Indiana men's basketball team fell to Minnesota, 77-74, in Assembly Hall on Thursday, Jan. 12.
"The easiest thing in the world to do is be sky high when you're making shots," said head coach Tom Crean. "The hardest thing to do is to understand how committed you have to be to the game of defense and rebounding when you're not. Tonight was one of those nights where we didn't make as many shots and we're going to watch the film and see that the ball didn't move as well and that our movement, our screening, some of those things weren't nearly as good. Again, that's how I see it. We played hard, but we didn't play as smart as we needed to. We were prepared, our guys had really good practices, but as I look at the game now we weren't playing on edge the way that we have. Those might sounds like buzz words, but those were real."
The Hoosiers (15-2, 3-2) and the Gophers (13-5, 1-4) battled back and forth early in the first half before a pair of Sheehey free throws broke a 16-16 tie to give IU a two-point edge with 10:10 on the clock. A 13-2 Minnesota run put the visiting team in front, 29-20, with 7:30 remaining in the half. Indiana answered on a three-point play from Oladipo, which sparked a 10-0 run to give the Hoosiers a 30-29 lead with 4:09 on the clock. The Gophers answered and took a three-point lead into the break, 37-34.
Minnesota opened the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 43-34 lead in the minute and a half and maintained at least a five-point lead for much of the half. With 58 seconds to go, Matt Roth sank a 3-pointer to cut Minnesota's lead to six, 71-56. Oladipo followed with another three-point play to cut the score to three, 71-68. The Gophers stretched it back to five with a pair of free throws, but another 3 from Roth kept the Hoosiers within two, 73-71. Two more Minnesota free throws stretched the Gophers lead back to four, but a three-point play from Zeller with 17 seconds to go kept Indiana within two, 75-73. The Gophers sealed the 77-74 win with a pair of free throws to go.
"These are good guys, they'll respond," said Crean. "I'm not going to get too caught up in that. It comes down to the mindset. You guys know, we're not the most talented team, even in our league, not even close. When what you have plays on edge and plays with togetherness on defense and communication and that ball is moving, and then you're going to play better. As I said to them in the locker room, I'm not going to overreact, but I'm not going to under react. We're going to move forward in a quick way and it is very clear that we've got to get that edge back and I'm very confident we will."
Zeller sank 7-of-14 from the field and made a perfect 9-of-9 at the free throw line. He also tallied two assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Hulls made 4-of-9 from the field, with a 3-pointer, and added three rebounds, one assist and one steal. Sheehey hit 5-of-7 from the field and 2-of-2 from the line, and Oladipo made 4-of-6 from the field and a pair of free throws to go along with two steals.
Indiana shot 43.6 percent (24-of-55) from the field and 88.0 percent (22-of-25) from the free throw line. The Hoosiers also won the battle on the boards, 35-33.
IU returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 15 when it travels to Columbus to take on No. 5 Ohio State on CBS at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Check back soon