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No. 5 Indiana barely hangs on against No. 8 Minnesota

Jan 12, 2013, 2:57 PM EDT

Victor Oladipo

It’s tough for a team to feel good about themselves after losing a game on the road in which they were down 23 points at halftime, but that’s exactly how the Gophers should feel after their 88-81 loss at Indiana on Saturday afternoon.

Because, let’s face it, when the Hoosiers get rolling at home, there aren’t too many teams that are going to be able to slow them down.

That’s precisely what happened in the first half. Indiana got into a rhythm, and there simply wasn’t anything that Minnesota could do. Cody Zeller was off and running in transition. Victor Oladipo was playing like a guy deserving of a spot on an all-america team. Jordy Hulls was hitting threes. Yogi Ferrell was doing his best John Stockton impression. It was a pleasure to watch and a nightmare to play against, and it’s something that is going to happen over and over this season.

Minnesota could have rolled over, the same way that North Carolina did when the Tar Heels were, quite literally, run out of Assembly Hall back in November.

But they didn’t.

In fact, Minnesota came all the way back.

If Trevor Mbakwe didn’t miss a box out with 19 seconds left on a missed free throw by Hulls, the Gophers would have had the ball down three with a chance to tie the game.

Think about that for a minute. Minnesota was on the road, playing against arguably the best team in the country that was in the kind of zone that made them look like unquestionably the most dominant team in the country. Assembly Hall was a wall of sound. The Gophers looked like a group of intimidated high school seniors.

And they still managed to turn the tide for the second 20 minutes, completely outplaying the Hoosiers.

That’s not an easy thing to do.

If Minnesota had a couple more minutes or if they had managed to keep their halftime deficit under 20, they may have actually won this game. And while a loss is a loss at the end of the day, I think Minnesota fans can feel pretty good about the fact that they were able to make a comeback on Indiana on the road.

Because moral victories are really the only thing road teams are going to be getting in Bloomington this season.


  1. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    All the way back? Not quite. Great game that provides proof that Big Ten basketball, this year, is easily the best in country.

  2. masonicmuseum - Jan 12, 2013 at 3:56 PM

    A good team won and a wannabe lost.

  3. prourke22 - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    the gophers cost themselves down the stretch. austin hollins forced a 3, dre hollins missed a layup, coleman misses a layup and williams jr misses a follow up dunk. indiana helped them by missing free throws.
    question is, how does Indiana front court only have 1 foul in a physical game?
    Great game to watch. Indiana is very good, and Minnesota proved they belong at the top of the conference

  4. Jeff - Jan 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    IU still needs to play with more consistency for a full 40 minutes. Toward the end, it started to look like the Butler game all over again for the Hoosiers.

  5. SportsPinhead - Jan 12, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    I’ve seen Minnesota play at the Target Center. They are as good a team as I recall. Not good enough to win a national championship–yet. Not yet, but ever improving with each game. Indiana is tough. Maybe tough enough to win Big Ten and compete for a national chmapionship. That’s what tough competition does to players. MN will improve, but will Indiana? Don’t be surprised if MN doesn’t garner 2 or 3 in Big Ten ball. Don White

  6. jimfix - Jan 12, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    “barely hangs on”? I mean, I know it was closer than it looked but they won by 7. It isn’t like it was a buzzer beater game.

  7. bballnut50 - Jan 13, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Incredible, if Gophers come out as normal they win going away. Cannot wait to see them stomp Indy in Mpls.

    • xli2006 - Jan 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      IU outplays Minnesota for 35 minutes and you think that is worthy of Minnesota being able to “stomp Indy” (for the record Indy is Indianapolis… nobody here calls Indiana “Indy”).

      The fact is IU came played a near perfect half of basketball Offensively and Defensively and kept the lead safe for 15 minutes of the 2nd half.

      Credit Minnesota for taking advantage of some deep 3s in transition to whittle the lead down and keep IU on their toes.

      Indiana will gladly play any team anywhere. Not guaranteeing anything, but they have the talent to play with anyone.

      It is nice though to see Minnesota climb the ladder in the B10. Tubby Smith is a solid coach and they have a versatile squad that could cause headaches in the B10 and March.

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