Minnesota Hosts Hoosiers
With one of the nation's top freshmen leading the way, Indiana is as hot as it's been in 15 years.
Eric Gordon and the ninth-ranked Hoosiers will be trying for their 11th straight win on Thursday when they visit a Minnesota team looking to make a name for itself in the Big Ten.
Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Indiana -2 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 61% of bets for this game have been placed on Indiana -2 (View College Basketball bet percentages).
Indiana (14-1, 3-0 Big Ten) beat Illinois 62-58 on Sunday, extending its win streak to 10 games - it longest run since winning 13 in a row during the 1992-93 season. The Hoosiers are off to their best start since going 15-1 in 1996-97, and are 3-0 in the Big Ten for the first time since winning their first four conference games in 2001-02.
Gordon scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half against the Illini and has scored in double figures in all but one of his 14 games. Gordon, who orally committed to Illinois before ultimately signing with Indiana, leads the conference and ranks second nationally among freshmen with 23.0 points per game.
"I was pretty excited. I knew this was going to be a big game for us," said Gordon, who was only 4-of-10 from the field but hit 8 of 10 free throws. "We tried to look at it like just another Big Ten game and to just get a win."
D.J. White added 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Hoosiers, who rallied from a late seven-point deficit. White, who leads the conference with 10.9 boards per game, was coming off a 21-point, 22-rebound performance at Michigan on Jan. 8 and was named the Big Ten player of the week.
"The sign of a pretty good team is finding ways to win when maybe you're not on top of your game," coach Kelvin Sampson said. "I don't think we played as well as we're capable of playing. But Illinois had a lot to do with that. They came in and really took it to us for a while."
Indiana will be trying to keep its winning streak alive against a Minnesota squad that has won four of the previous six meetings. However, the Hoosiers beat the Golden Gophers 71-59 at home on Feb. 21 in the only matchup last season.
Minnesota (12-3, 2-1) already has surpassed last season's win total by three under first-year coach Tubby Smith, who was at Kentucky from 1997-2007. Smith, one win shy of 400 for his career, is off to the best coaching start at Minnesota since O.B. "Ozzie" Cowles guided the 1948-49 team to a 14-1 record in his first year with the Gophers.
The Gophers are off to their best start since 2004-05 but now face a tough three-game stretch - hosting Indiana and No. 11 Michigan State before playing at Ohio State.
Minnesota trailed by 16 points on Saturday, but rallied for a 76-73 road win over Penn State. Senior Spencer Tollackson and freshman Blake Hoffarber each had 19 points to help make up for leading scorer Dan Coleman being held to 10 points on 2-of-7 shooting.
"We feel very fortunate to get this win," Smith said. "Our kids showed a lot of heart, a lot of courage."
Coleman did post his second straight double-double and is now averaging 14.1 points and a team-leading 6.6 rebounds.
Hoffarber is hitting a Big Ten-best 49.4 percent of his 3-point attempts (40-of-81) and is 10-of-15 from beyond the arc in his last two games.
by: Staff Writers - Email Us
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