Hoosiers Lose Close One to Minnesota
February 18, 2004Bloomington, Ind.- The Indiana men's basketball team dropped a deflating 73-71 game to a feisty Minnesota Golden Gopher team at Assembly Hall on Wednesday night. The Hoosiers fall to 12-11 on the year and 6-6 in the Big Ten.
The Hoosiers led the entire second half until a pair of Kris Humphries' free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining on the clock. With the game tied at 71-71 following a Brent Lawson three-point play, junior Ryan Tapak's three-point attempt from the left wing came up short. Humphries corralled the rebound and was fouled by senior center George Leach, sending him to the free-throw line for the final margin. Minnesota finished the game on an 11-2 run over the final 3:32 of the game.
Sophomore Marshall Strickland's last ditch running three-pointer bounced off the front of the rim and gave Minnesota the victory. The Hoosiers struggled from behind the three-point arch all night shooting 2-of-16, including 0-of-9 in the second half. Strickland connected on both IU treys.
Humphries finished with a game-high 36 points and 12 rebounds to lead the way for the Gophers. The 36 points is a season-high for an opponent against the Hoosiers this season.
The Hoosiers pushed their lead to as high as 11 in the second half of play on two different occasions, but were unable to put away the Gophers. Strickland put the Hoosiers up 55-44 at the 12:45 mark with a steal and lay-up. The Hoosiers led 61-50 following a three-point A.J. Moye play at the 9:14 mark.
The Gophers were able to chip the lead down to three with 44 seconds remaining following a Humphries three-pointer from the top of the arch. After sophomore guard Bracey Wright dribbled the ball off his leg to give Minnesota the ball back, Humphries hit Lawson cutting to the basket. Lawson hit the driving lay-up, and redshirt freshman Roderick Wilmont was called for the blocking foul attempting to draw a charge. Lawson connected on the free throw to set up the final series of events.
Leach dominated the first half as he pushed Indiana out to a 39-30 lead. The Charlotte, N.C., native paced the Hoosiers in the first half with 17 points.
Indiana jumped out to a 13-7 advantage on the heals of hitting six of their first 10 shots from the field. Leach scored four points, while Strickland had five in the opening spurt. Over the next nine minutes the Hoosiers went cold from the field only connecting on one field goal, while the Gophers went on a 14-2 run to open up their largest lead of the game at 21-15.
A Moye free-throw line jumper ended the drought at the 5:53 mark off the assist from Tapak. On the play, Humphries was whistled for a foul, allowing the Hoosiers to regain possession. Strickland hit a jumper just four seconds later to cut the deficit to two. After a Pat Ewing steal, Strickland hit a three-pointer from the right side to push the Hoosiers back in front at 22-21.
The lead ping-ponged back and forth until the Hoosiers ended the half on a 13-3 run. Adam Boone hit a three-pointer to give Minnesota a lead at 27-26 with 3:02 remaining. Leach scored nine of Indiana's final 13 as IU headed to the locker room with the advantage.
Leach finished with a career-high 26 points on 10-of-19 from the field, including eight rebounds. He eclipsed his pervious career-high of 19 set last season in the Maui Invitational against UMass. Moye had 15 points on six-of-nine shooting, while Wright and Strickland finished with 14 and 12, respectively.
Strickland led the Hoosiers with four steals, while Tapak had three. Tapak also led the Hoosiers with five assists, while Moye, Wright and Strickland each had three.
The Hoosiers will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 21 when they host the Ohio State Buckeyes at the Assembly Hall. The tip is set for 8:00 p.m. EST and can be seen on ESPN-Plus. The game can also be heard on the IU Radio Network with Don Fischer (p-b-p), Todd Leary (analysis) and Joe Smith (pre game, halftime and post game) on the call.
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