Indiana 71, Minnesota 59

It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done (like Shawn Marion’s jumpshot?).

The Hoosiers extended their perfect record at Assembly Hall this season, defeating the Minnesota Gophers, 71-59.

Despite never trailing, the game was closer than most people expected. The Gophers continued to chip away at the Hoosier’s lead in the second half, cutting it to as little as two points several times. But IU was able to pick up their defense in the second half and hold on to the victory.

D.J. White led the Hoosiers with 17 points and six rebounds, and Rod Wilmont scored 13 in the first half and finished with 16. The Hoosier’s got a big spark from fan favorite Errek Suhr, who drew three charges in the game, including two in a 58-second span in the first half.

Other notes: Ben Allen played his second consecutive productive game. Allen played 13 minutes and was 2-2 from the field and finished with four points. Allen’s points were his first since Dec. 22 against IUPUI — nearly two months.

Indiana got 18 points from the combo of A.J. Ratliff/Armon Bassett. The two Hoosiers used their one-on-one skills to break down the Gopher’s defense Wednesday night when IU’s defense would stall.

Mike White played only 9 minutes, despite starting. It seemed as if White fell out of Kelvin Sampson’s rotation due to the production of Allen and the attempt to give Stemler more minutes — hoping he would break out of his funk.

On a random note, Joey Shaw resembles a deer much more than he doesn’t. I know that might sound like a dumb thing to say (okay, it was a dumb thing to say), but I can’t get it out of my mind. He is quick and nimble like a deer, but he also seems to get scared in the headlights at times. This deer analogy is going nowhere….moving on.

The Gophers got 20 points respectively from Dan Coleman and Lawrence McKenzie. McKenzie was 9-10 from the free throw line and gave IU a tough time the entire game. No doubt McKenzie was playing inspired basketball taking on his former head coach.

All in all (I love that phrase), the Hoosiers won a game they were expected to win. Indiana will face a big challelnge this weekend traveling to Michigan State. It will be interesting to see if Earl Calloway returns for the game. I’d also keep an eye on what Sampson does with the starting line-up — with two productive games in a row, does Allen find his way back into it?

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That’s it. The intern will join you shortly to discuss.

Lance Stemler must feel better after hitting that shot.

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3:56, second half: Indiana 64, Minnesota 54

Not to deflect your interest from this glorious display of basketball, but Penn State is beating No. 2 Ohio State 22-17 with 3:15 left in the first half in Columbus.

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7:21, second half: Indiana 56, Minnesota 50

D.J. White just jumped out to double-team the ball handler twice, forcing a bad pass and turnover. Wonder if that was planned by Sampson out of the last time out or if White just saw the opportunity and took it.

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7:40, second half: Indiana 56, Minnesota 50

Joey Shaw is creating some offensive now, driving and dishing to get D.J. White an easy basket and coming off a screen beautifully to knock down an open open open 3-pointer.

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11:16, second half: Indiana 50, Minnesota 48

The scouting report on McKenzie isn’t helping much. He had a great drive and dish to set up Dan Coleman for two points, and has scored 18 points of his own, including that one with a defender in his face.

The matchup to watch the rest of the game is Rod Wilmont against Dan Coleman, who at 6-9 is five inches taller. He was too athletic for D.J. White to handle, though.

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15:25, second half: Indiana 45, Minnesota 39

McKenzie is beginning to assert himself, and no doubt Sampson is reminding his team of the scouting report — which should be quite deep, since Sampson coached him at Oklahoma — on Minnesota’s top scoring threat.

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18:01, second half: Indiana 43, Minnesota 34

D.J. White with a free throw and a jumper to help Indiana extend its lead.

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Half: Indiana 40, Minnesota 32

Wilmont knocks down a deep, late 3-pointer to give Indiana the eight-point lead. After taking just five 3-pointers in three games, Rowdy Rod is 3-of-4 from 3 today.
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33.5, first half: Indiana 37, Minnesota 32

D.J. White has been on the bench for 12 minutes, and it shows. Minnesota is getting inside and drawing fouls on overmatched players down low to get back into it.
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2:45, first half: Indiana 34, Minnesota 25

I’ve decided not to interview any Indiana players after the game out of fear that they will foul me. They foul everything. I saw Joey Shaw trying to drink a Coke earlier, and it foamed over because he fouled it.

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5:05, first half: Indiana 32, Minnesota 25

Indiana is leaving players open for 3-point shots again, an incredibly strange phenomenon since they were so good at guarding the perimeter for most of the year. That doesn’t seem like a weakness that would materialize this time of year.

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7:44, first half: Indiana 30, Minnesota

Ben Allen has hit two shots! He’s got four points! I don’t know what else to add!

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11:38, first half: Indiana 16, Minnesota 7

D.J. White already has as many points this game, 7, as he did against Michigan. He’s also got two boards, which is the same number of charges Errek Suhr has taken.

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15:43, first half: Indiana 9, Minnesota 3

Predictably, Indiana is off to a good start. D.J. White looks decisive and has hit a couple of long shots. He was having trouble guarding Dan Coleman, Minnesota’s athletic big man, but Jim Molinari already has Coleman on the bench.

Bassett is handling the ball a little less on offense and the Hoosiers are trying to create from every angle.

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Starting for the Hoosiers tonight: Bassett, Ratliff, Wilmont, Mike White and D.J. White.

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I’m not sure on Calloway. Looks like maybe he could play if they really needed him. But he’s still wincing a bit.

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I’m here at Assembly Hall watching warmups and can report that Earl Calloway still doesn’t appear to be using his right arm much. He’s making a lot of chest passes but not raising it up to shoot. Looks a little tender still, but certainly less so than Saturday against Michigan.

12 comments

  1. Ben Allen is the first man off the Hoosier bench. Whatever criticisms one might have about Sampson’s rotation and substitutions, predicatability shouldn’t be one of them.

  2. A big cheer for Ben as he hits his first shot. Our research department (OK, our intern Matt) informs me that was Ben’s first points in two months. He last scored on Dec. 22 against IUPUI.

  3. I think we should add research department to Matt’s current duties of Recruiting Columnist/Videographer/Coffee maker/Center on H-T hoops team.

  4. 7:44, first half: Indiana 30, Minnesota

    Ben Allen has hit two shots! He’s got four points! I don’t know what else to add!

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    How about adding Minnesota’s score? 😉

  5. Per the research department/coffee maker, the 3-point attempt that Stemler just missed was his 10th straight. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict he’ll hit one tonight.

  6. Flat crowd and a flat performance by the Hoosiers tonight. I thought we’d see a blowout tonight, but Minnesota is hanging close as Indiana offers up another so-so effort so far.

  7. Don’t feel bad for me, Mickey. Some people like IU basketball, some people feel empowered by pointing out other people’s small, irrelevant mistakes. I plan on getting back at coachv tonight by stopping at Burger King’s drive-thru and complaining about the pickles on my Whopper.

  8. coachv, get a life and quit dissecting every blog post to find insignificant “errors.” This isn’t grammar class, but I suggest getting a job as a substitute teacher so you can make money giving moronic advice to people. Or better yet, write a book about grammar and stop posting it here. No one who reads this blog gives a rat’s turd about any of your knowledge. It is an IU SPORTS blog, not COACHV’s GRAMMAR BLOG. Thanks, good day.

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