NCAA Basketball Big 10 BasketballIndiana HoosiersMinnesota Golden Gophers

First Half Deficit Dooms Minnesota in Comeback Attempt at Indiana

Pat Lovell-USA Today Sports

The game was over, or at least that’s what it seemed.

Indiana held a 52-29 halftime lead over Minnesota on Saturday afternoon, cruising throughout the first half. However, it quickly became apparent after the break that the Golden Gophers were not about to roll over on the road.

Trailing by three with under twenty second remaining, Indiana’s Jordan Hulls, a usual sure-thing from the foul line, missed back-to-back attempts, leaving the door open for the Gophers. However, All-American candidate Cody Zeller made the play of the game by getting around Trevor Mbakwe‘s box out attempt and securing possession once again for the Hoosiers.

The added free throws helped Indiana keep the distance between them and the Gophers, holding on for an 88-81 victory. The Hoosiers improved to 3-0 within the Big Ten Conference and moved to 15-1 overall.

It was a 52-36 advantage after the halftime intermission in favor of the Gophers, so put two and two together and realize just how different things may have played out had Minnesota not came out so poorly early on.

A tale of two halves ended in a final score that many expected and included the late excitement that was offered off the voice of the infamous Gus Johnson. Quick reaction bodes to Indiana’s ability to protect their home court and secure a top-ten win, while Minnesota continues to have the makings of a true league contender as the conference schedule rolls along.

The good news following Saturday’s contest is the two will once again square off this season. However, fans will have to wait until Feb. 26 to see the rematch. That being said, we can probably assume in a month’s time that Minnesota will be better equipped for a stronger start than the one they had on Saturday.

 

Paul Seaver is the College Basketball Network Manager at Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS