Gophers rally back to win 66-60 over Indiana at the Barn

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 9, 2014 - 6:36 AM

The Gophers made the plays they had to to beat Indiana and end their losing streak.

view larger photos

  

The Gophers knew if they were to piece together a meaningful season under new coach Richard Pitino, it had to start now.

A three-game losing streak had made a promising start seem distant, and a threat to overtake their identity.

Saturday night, with legendary Louisville coach and Richard’s father, Rick Pitino, in the stands, the Gophers snatched a 66-60 victory over Indiana at Williams Arena and took their first step in finding relevancy once more.

“We’ve been so close with these last two,” center Elliott Eliason said. “It’s nice to just finally get a win, try to crawl up the Big Ten [standings]. It’s so close still. We still kind of control our destiny a lot, so we can still make a lot of noise here.”

DeAndre Mathieu hit a layup with 11.6 seconds remaining to give the Gophers a four-point lead, and they finished with a 13-4 run before an announced 14,625. Mathieu finished with 16 points, five assists and only one turnover.

“Coach always tells me to go in there and get one,” said Mathieu, whose twin brothers and cousin were in attendance. “He says I never get in there and get my hands dirty.”

When it mattered, the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten) executed in all the ways they had failed to do both during their losing streak and earlier against the Hoosiers, getting big stops on defense and boxing out for rebounds. They once again found a winning option in center Mo Walker, who finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, and benefited from one of Mathieu’s best games in maroon and gold.

Indiana led by three with 5:54 to play, but after Austin Hollins’ three-pointer tied it at 56-56, Mathieu hit two free throws with 4:30 left to put the Gophers up for good. Elliott Eliason followed with a layup off a feed from Andre Hollins for a 60-56 lead with 3:18 to go.

Yogi Ferrell (14 points) made a long two-pointer, but Indiana (14-9, 5-6) was called for goaltending on Joey King’s shot to restore the Gophers’ four-point lead. Ferrell missed with 50 seconds left, but Noah Vonleh (12 points, 12 rebounds) stole the ball from Hollins for a layup with 41 seconds left.

Mathieu responded with his clutch drive, and he grabbed the defensive rebound on the ensuing possession. He hit two free throws to seal the victory.

Down the stretch, the Gophers switched to man-to-man defense and locked down the Hoosiers, who shot 4-for-8 from three-point range in the first half but only 1-for-6 in the second. Ferrell and Vonleh finished 5-for-9 and 5-for-16 from the field, respectively.

“They’re the engine of the team, and I think we did a good job of containing them,” said Andre Hollins, who added he feels about 90 percent healed from his severe ankle sprain.

At the start, the Gophers made the same mistakes that cost them in Wednesday’s triple-overtime loss at Purdue, giving up six offensive rebounds and sending Indiana to the line 12 times. But despite Indiana runs of 10-0 and 11-0 in the first half, the Gophers were within 36-30 at halftime, thanks to an 8-3 run to close sparked by a Walker dunk.

“We’ve got great guards that attack off the bounce and I just stay low, play the base line and they find me,” Walker said. “To finally get this win feels really good and we’re on top of the world right now.”



 

  • gophers 66, indiana 60

    Up next: 8 p.m. Thursday at Wisconsin • TV: ESPN (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 0 Top 2nd Inning
NY Mets 0
Milwaukee 0 Top 2nd Inning
Tampa Bay 0
Arizona - W. Miley 11:35 AM
Cincinnati - A. Simon
Washington - T. Roark 11:40 AM
Miami - B. Hand
Oakland - J. Hammel 1:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
Pittsburgh - C. Morton 2:45 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Seattle - F. Hernandez 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Kluber
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 6:08 PM
Detroit - M. Scherzer
Toronto - M. Buehrle 6:10 PM
Boston - B. Workman
Colorado - B. Anderson 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - T. Wood
NY Yankees - H. Kuroda 7:05 PM
Texas - C. Lewis
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - D. Duffy
Atlanta - A. Wood 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
St. Louis - J. Kelly 9:10 PM
San Diego - J. Hahn
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Buffalo
Toronto FC 6:00 PM
D.C.
Colorado 6:30 PM
New England
Vancouver FC 7:30 PM
Chicago
Red Bull New York 8:00 PM
Real Salt Lake
Winnipeg 7/31/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Toronto 8/1/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Brt Columbia 8/1/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which upcoming event are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close