No. 22 Indiana Falls To Minnesota, 59-58, On Last Second Shot In Big Ten Quarterfinals
March 15, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Minnesota's Blake Hoffarber caught a long pass with 1.5 seconds left Friday night, spun away from a defender and hit a 14-foot left-handed shot at the buzzer to upset No. 22 Indiana 59-58 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.
Just seconds earlier, it appeared sixth-seeded Minnesota was about to be eliminated on another improbable sequence.
Hoosiers forward D.J. White tipped in a missed free throw and drew a foul with 3.1 seconds left to tie the score at 57. He then rebounded his own miss, drew another foul and made one free throw to give Indiana a 58-57 lead with 1.5 seconds left.
The Golden Gophers (20-12) were led by Damian Johnson with 17 points and Lawrence McKenzie with 15. Hoffarber finished with 5. They now face 10th-seeded Illinois in Saturday's semifinals after the Fighting Illini upset No. 19 Purdue 74-67 in overtime.
White, named the Big Ten's player of the year Monday, had 23 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks to lead the Hoosiers.
For Minnesota, it was a reversal of their first-round victory over Northwestern, when they fell into a 16-point first half deficit. This time, they built 16-point first half lead and had to survive the ferocious comeback led by White.
The Golden Gophers opened the game on a 19-5 run against a Hoosiers team that never looked in synch.
Minnesota hit open 3-pointers and dominated the glass, especially on offense. Meanwhile, Indiana (25-7) made only two baskets in the first 11 minutes.
But White changed that. His layuup with 8:39 to go sparked a 7-0 run that got Indiana within 24-15, and his relentless effort inside pushed his teammates to play more passionately.
They responded with another 7-0 spurt, trimming the lead to 26-22 with 4:18 remaining, but Minnesota closed the half with a 6-2 flurry to take a 34-27 lead.
Indiana rallied quickly in the second half, opening on a 7-0 run to tie it at 34 and then trading baskets and leads over the next nine minutes before Minnesota broke a 48-48 tie with five straight points.
The Hoosiers rallied again, cutting the lead to 57-55 with 45.9 seconds left, finally tied it on White's tip-in and took the lead on White's free throw with 1.5 seconds left.
Minnesota sent Travis Busch, a former Minnesota Mr. Basketball, into the game to throw the inbound pass. After running back-and-forth along the baseline, he finally got a free lane, heaved the ball to Hoffarber, who hit the winner.
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