Hoosiers earn crucial victory, 72-67, sweep Golden Gophers
By Michael Marot
AP Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Trayce Jackson-Davis scored 18 points and Joey Brunk added 12 on Wednesday night, helping Indiana pick up a key 72-67 victory over Minnesota.
The Hoosiers (19-11, 9-10 Big Ten) ended a two-game losing streak by pulling off their first season sweep of the Golden Gophers in four seasons.
Daniel Oturu had 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead Minnesota (13-16, 7-12), which has lost three straight and six of seven.
But padding their NCAA Tournament resume sure didn’t come easily for the Hoosiers, who blew leads of 10 and seven points in the first half and another seven-point lead in the second half before finally starting to pull away.
Brunk’s layup with 7:59 left broke a 54-54 tie. He added a 3-footer just 36 seconds later and the Hoosiers closed out the decisive 9-1 run with Jackson-Davis’ dunk and a three-point play from Aljami Durham with 5:39 to play.
Minnesota managed to cut deficit to 65-60 with 3:02 left, but Durham scored on a layup, Brunk added another short jumper and the Hoosiers closed it out at the free-throw line.
Minnesota: Oturu was his usually sensational self. But the Golden Gophers just didn’t get much more from the supporting cast. And with only one game left, Minnesota needs to win at least two games in next week’s conference tournament to have a shot at the NIT.
Indiana: The Hoosiers desperately needed to turn things around after the last two games and now find themselves one win away from posting a .500 conference record. It could be another key line on their postseason resume. And while it wasn’t pretty, the Hoosiers got the job done when they needed to.
Minnesota: One week after breaking the school’s single-season record for assists, Marcus Carr broke the school’s single-season record in conference play. He passed Ray Williams (118) with five assists in the first half, giving him 119. But he didn’t have any assists in the second half and scored just 6 points. … Gabe Kalscheur had 14 points and Payton Willis scored nine points. … Oturu posted his 18th double-double this season.
Indiana: Durham and Rob Phinisee each scored 11 points. Phinisee also had six rebounds and five assists. Durham had four assists. … Brunk had eight eight rebounds and Justin Smith scored 10 points. … Jackson-Davis was 8 of 12 from the field. … Race Thompson had four rebounds and two points against his father’s alma mater. Darrell Thompson is the Gophers’ career rushing leader.
Minnesota: Completes its home schedule Saturday against Nebraska.
Indiana: Welcomes No. 24 Wisconsin to Assembly Hall for Saturday’s senior day festivities.