Indiana at Minnesota, game 2: a rare but remote chance for a season sweep.

Minnesota Golden Gophers
Current record:
Current RPI:
Current Sagarin:
Current Pomeroy:
2008-09 record: 22-11 (9-9), lost to Texas in first round of NCAA Tournament
2008-09 RPI: 42
2008-09 Sagarin: 36
2008-09 Pomeroy: 51
Series: IU leads 88-66
Last Minnesota win: 2/10/2009 (63-54 in Minneapolis)
Last IU win: 3/5/2008 (81-78 (OT) in Bloomington)
Last IU win in Minneapolis: 1/17/2008 (65-60)
Pomeroy scouting report
TV: 8 p.m. tonight, Big Ten Network

Blogs: The Daily Gopher, From the Barn

For only the second time in the last two seasons, IU enters a game with a chance to sweep the two game season series from a Big Ten opponent.  The last attempt, the blowout road loss at Michigan, didn't go so well, and Williams Arena, "the Barn," long has been a house of horrors for the Hoosiers.  From 1994 to present, IU is 3-9 in Minneapolis.  In the first game between the two teams, IU led for nearly all of regulation until Devoe Joseph tied the game in the waning seconds.  Minnesota, thanks to two Joseph three pointers, took a quick 6-point lead in OT, but IU fought back for its most resilient win of the season.  The Gophers won't be playing merely for revenge tonight: thanks to an upset of Wisconsin on Thursday's, the Gophers have revived their NCAA Tournament hopes.  Minnesota has a chance for another signature win when the Gophers host Purdue next Wednesday, but Minnesota cannot afford another loss to IU.  If the Hoosiers have any hope, it's because this game is sandwiched between two games against strong teams and because of the 48-hour turnaround, but that's slim hope indeed in a game that Ken Pomeroy says Minnesota has a 93 percent chance of winning (and he predicts a 17 point Gopher win).  In the first game, IU rebounded well on the offensive end and committed only 5 turnovers in the final 25 minutes of the game.  A similar effort will be required for the Hoosiers to have any chance.

The Gophers have been all over the map in Big Ten play.  They have wins over Wisconsin and Ohio State but losses to IU, Michigan (at home) and Northwestern.  The Gophers continue to excel from three point range, shooting nearly 40 percent from behind the arc, and on the defensive end they force lots of turnovers, block lots of shots, and play stifling interior defense.  It's hard to imagine how IU, given its weaknesses in those categories, managed to defeat the Gophers even once.  Here are the individual stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Lawrence Westbrook 24 25.7 4.9 9.9 49.2 1.5 3.8 41.1 1.9 2.3 81.8 0.5 2.0 2.5 2.0 2.3 1.0 0.1 2.1 13.2
Blake Hoffarber 25 27.1 4.0 7.6 52.1 2.8 5.8 49.3 1.0 1.2 83.3 1.0 3.0 4.0 2.0 0.8 0.6 0.1 1.1 11.8
Damian Johnson 25 25.9 3.8 7.1 53.4 0.3 0.8 33.3 2.2 3.0 72.0 1.5 2.6 4.1 2.1 1.3 2.1 2.0 2.8 10.0
Devoe Joseph 25 23.3 3.0 7.9 38.6 1.2 3.5 35.2 1.2 1.9 63.8 1.0 1.8 2.8 3.0 1.8 0.8 0.0 1.5 8.5
Ralph Sampson III 23 25.1 3.1 5.9 52.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.1 3.3 63.2 2.0 4.1 6.2 1.7 1.4 0.4 2.0 2.3 8.3
Al Nolen 18 25.4 1.9 5.1 37.0 0.6 1.6 39.3 2.3 3.2 71.9 0.7 2.4 3.1 4.6 1.6 2.4 0.1 1.9 6.7
Paul Carter 25 15.5 2.6 5.2 48.9 0.3 0.8 38.1 1.2 1.6 72.5 1.1 2.4 3.5 0.6 1.2 0.6 0.3 2.2 6.6
Rodney Williams 22 13.2 2.0 3.5 57.7 0.4 1.3 28.6 0.8 1.3 60.7 0.8 1.0 1.8 0.5 0.6 0.5 0.9 0.9 5.2
Colton Iverson 25 16.3 1.4 3.4 41.9 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.1 2.1 52.8 1.4 3.1 4.4 0.6 1.4 0.4 0.8 2.0 4.0
Devron Bostick 14 8.9 0.9 2.7 34.2 0.1 0.7 10.0 0.6 1.1 60.0 0.8 1.1 1.9 0.7 0.6 0.8 0.2 0.8 2.6
Justin Cobbs 24 11.4 0.8 2.2 34.6 0.1 0.6 20.0 0.8 0.9 85.7 0.0 0.7 0.7 1.2 0.8 0.4 0.1 0.8 2.4
Royce White 1 6.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
Bryant Allen 2 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

 

The Gophers continue to spread the scoring around.  Blake Hoffarber, best remembered by IU fans for beating IU with a buzzer-beater in the 2008 Big Ten Tournament, is shooting near 50 percent from behind the arc.  Damian Johnson and Ralph Sampson are excellent shot blockers. How did the Hoosiers win the first one?  I don't know, and the second game will be a tall order.

Here is the coverage of the game:

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