Gophers sophomore Treyton Thompson did everything he could to slow one of college basketball's top big men Wednesday night, but Indiana's Trayce Jackson-Davis was on a mission and is used to logging heavy minutes this season.

Thompson had played 11 minutes in the previous six games combined before he was asked to put in 37 minutes with the Gophers shorthanded, down to seven scholarship players, in Wednesday's 61-57 loss against the Hoosiers.

The Gophers (7-12, 1-8 Big Ten) entered the game without leading scorer Dawson Garcia (bone bruise) and talented freshman Pharrel Payne (concussion protocol), but they finished the night also without starting forward Joshua Ola-Joseph (cramp).

Thompson, a 7-footer from Glenwood, Minn., was basically the only frontcourt presence battling Jackson-Davis, who has been playing like a Big Ten Player of the Year contender in the past three games.

"He comes to practice every day with his head held high working his tail off," junior Jamison Battle said about Thompson. "There are times this summer when he and I would both be in at 6 a.m., getting shots up. It's just a testament of what he's done to prepare himself for this moment."

Other players had to fill bigger roles with the injury issues piling up. Here are four takeaways from Wednesday's loss against Indiana:

Reserves to the rescue

Thompson and former walk-on Will Ramberg hadn't played more than eight minutes in the eight Big Ten games before Wednesday. Freshman Jaden Henley played just six minutes in last weekend's 60-56 loss at Michigan.

The Gophers didn't know what to expect from three reserves who were forced to play more than they had all season. They were ready for the opportunity. Thompson finished with eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks as the starting center. Henley and Ramberg combined for 11 points off the bench, including nine points in the first half.

Ramberg sat the second half because of a leg injury, but one of the game's most memorable plays was when he reached his arms around Battle's head to grab the ball and score a putback after Jackson-Davis' block in the first half.

Henley was in attack mode more than he had been since he started the first nine games this season. Other than three missed free throws, the 6-7 California native had his best overall game in Big Ten play. He brought intensity defensively and had seven points, four rebounds and zero turnovers in 35 minutes.

Just like old J-Mo

Remember when Battle would sink three-pointer after three-pointer in the second half of games last season and shout to fire up the Williams Arena crowd?

That hadn't been seen too often this year. Battle has been dealing with injuries and facing even more pressure defensively on the perimeter, but he didn't let that bother him Wednesday night.

The All-Big Ten preseason forward led the Gophers with 20 points. He scored 13 points in the second half, when he made three of his four three-pointers. Twice his shots from beyond the arc gave Minnesota the lead down the stretch, including 55-54 around the six-minute mark.

Battle has pushed through a lingering back injury that led to the first scoreless game of his career in last week's loss vs. Purdue at home. The Gophers' co-captain is still not 100% healthy, but he has played through the discomfort and sat for only one minute combined in the past two games, vs. Michigan and Indiana.

Zone defense impact

Coach Ben Johnson often mixes up defensive schemes to keep Gophers opponents off guard, but the 2-3 zone was a primary look Wednesday against the Hoosiers.

Part of that was to protect Thompson from getting overpowered by Jackson-Davis in the paint. The Gophers had success against Jackson-Davis in the first half, when he shot 4-for-9 from the field, but that game plan allowed Miller Kopp and Malik Reneau to combine for 19 points.

The Hoosiers kept feeding their beast inside, and eventually that wore down Johnson's shorthanded team. Jackson-Davis had 16 of his 25 points in the second half, when he also got five of his six blocks. He totaled 21 rebounds, 10 in the second half.

Scoring drought blues

In several blowout losses this season, the Gophers let lengthy scoring droughts drain their confidence and sap the effort defensively. That wasn't the case Wednesday, especially in the second half, when they held Indiana to 39% shooting.

Jackson-Davis shot 7-for-10 from the field, with most of his touches near the basket in the second half, but the rest of Indiana's team shot 3-for-16. The Gophers defense was probably good enough for them to win Wednesday, but their offense failed them late.

Turnovers weren't the issue. They committed just five total, including only two in the second half. Free throw shooting wasn't the problem, either. Well, maybe not getting to the line enough (2-for-3) hurt a little. But Johnson's team just couldn't hit a shot, missing 11 straight field goals to end the game.

Battle was unselfish and needed others to make more plays down the stretch. It just didn't happen enough with Ta'Lon Cooper, Taurus Samuels and Thompson combining to shoot 5-for-23 from the field in the second half, including 0-for-7 on three-pointers.