Feb. 19, 2010
Complete Game Notes in PDF Format
INDIANA (9-16, 3-10 BIG TEN) at MINNESOTA (15-10, 6-7 BIG TEN)
February 20, 2010 8:00 p.m. ET
Minneapolis, Minn. Williams Arena (14,625)
Series Record: Indiana leads 87-59
TV: Big Ten Network (Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris)
RADIO: IU Radio Network (Don Fischer and Joe Smith)
Sirius: 90 XM: 196
THE OPENING TIP
Indiana is in its 110th season of college basketball and travels to play Minnesota on Saturday night. This is the second meeting meeting between the two teams this year, with the Hoosiers capturing the first matchup, 81-78 in overtime on January 17. IU is coming off a 72-58 loss at home to Michigan State. The Golden Gophers defeated Wisconsin, 62-48, on Thursday night.
Indiana named Tom Crean as its 28th men's basketball coach on April 2, 2008, and he is in his second year with the Hoosiers. He reached the 200-win plateau on Dec. 8 with a 74-64 win over Pitt in Madison Square Garden. In his 10-plus-season career, he has a 205-137 record. He came to Indiana from Marquette where he was 190-96 (66.4) in nine seasons and made five NCAA Tournament appearances, including the 2003 Final Four. His 2009 recruiting class was ranked among the top 10 in the country. Tubby Smith is in his third year at Minnesota, where he is 57-35. He won a national championship at Kentucky in 1997-98.
BUILDING A FOUNDATION
In a league dominated by upperclassmen, Coach Tom Crean has seen three of his younger players emerge as some of the finest in their respective classes. Sophomore Verdell Jones III (14.8 ppg.) is the second-highest scorer among second-year performers and Freshman of the Year candidate Christian Watford (12.7 ppg.) is the top-scoring rookie in the Big Ten. In addition, freshman Maurice Creek was averaging a then rookie-best 16.4 ppg., when he was lost for the season in the final con-conference tilt for IU. In fact, IU is the only league school that has a combination of three sophomores and freshmen averaging double figures in points scored.
LAST TIME OUT AGAINST MINNESOTA
Sophomore Verdell Jones III hit a 12-footer with 32.8 seconds left in overtime to give Indiana the lead and freshman Christian Watford made two free throws to seal the IU's 81-78 victory over Minnesota. Jones finished with a then career-high 24 points. Watford had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Minnesota had a chance to win it but Devron Bostick missed a 15-footer and Watford grabbed the rebound. Following Watford's charity tosses a desperation three-pointer by sophomore Devoe Joseph missed the mark at the buzzer.
The Hoosiers never trailed in regulation and Minnesota couldn't tie it until Joseph hit a 10-footer with 9.6 seconds to go. Indiana had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Watford's 16-foot jumper was strong off the rim and freshman Derek Elston's desperation tip was no good. Joseph opened the overtime with two straight 3s, but Indiana scored the final eight points to win it. Trailing 78-73, Jones III made two free throws with 2:00 to go in overtime, then after Minnesota's Colton Iverson was called for offensive goaltending and Jones hit another jumper to cut the lead to 78-77 with 1:15 left. Joseph drove for a layup, but junior Jeremiah Rivers had a blocked shot and came up with the board. Jones III gave IU the lead for good with his jumper with 32 seconds left and was fouled by Joseph.
Indiana is back home to face #14 Wisconsin on Thursday, February 25. Tip-off on the Big Ten Network is at 8 p.m.