Minnesota 56

(16-8, 6-5 Big Ten)

Indiana 71

(11-10, 6-4 Big Ten)

    3:00 PM ET, February 12, 2005

    Assembly Hall, Bloomington, Indiana

    1 2 T
    MINN 27 2956
    IND 29 4271

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: J. Hagen 20 Pts, 15 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Indiana: A. Ratliff 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Indiana 71, Minnesota 56

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Bracey Wright sat on the bench in street clothes. D.J. White and Robert Vaden were sitting because of foul problems.

    On any other day, the absence of Indiana's top three scorers could have been a disaster.

    Not Saturday. The Hoosiers got some much much-needed help from Pat Ewing Jr., who scored a career-high 15 points off the bench, and A.J. Ratliff, who added 15 more, to lead Indiana past Minnesota 71-56.

    "Everybody knew going into the game, with Bracey out, that we couldn't have another game where somebody didn't step up," Ewing said. "I felt like things were going my way."

    For the Hoosiers (11-10, 6-4) it was the kind of game where everything went right.

    They started four freshmen for the second straight game, the first time that had happened since 1989, but still shot 50 percent from the field and a season-high 61.5 percent from 3-point range. They topped 70 points for the first time since Jan. 8 and never trailed Minnesota.

    The victory also was their most decisive since beating Furman by 16 on Jan. 2.

    And Davis couldn't help but like just about everything the Hoosiers did.

    On offense there was balance and production from some unexpected players. Vaden finished with 14 points in 26 minutes, while White finished nine points. That was offset by a season-high 27 points off the bench.

    "We probably made three or four shots with the shot clock under two or three seconds," Davis said. "We made the extra pass and we're playing with more energy."

    The Hoosiers effort was just as strong defensively.

    They limited Minnesota (16-8, 6-5) to 32.1 percent shooting from the field, a season-low, forced 15 turnovers and managed to shut down the Golden Gophers every time they started to get close.

    Vincent Grier led the Gophers with 21 points, while Jeff Hagen had 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Minnesota's second straight loss also prevented it from beating Indiana three straight times, something the Gophers haven't achieved since 1977-78.

    Minnesota coach Dan Monson couldn't even hide his frustration.

    "Offensively, we have not had a lot of fun lately," he said. "Our shots have not gone in, and today, that frustration broke into our defense. We got out of discipline on the defensive end, and today it hurt us."

    It appeared early that Minnesota had all the advantages.

    Wright, the Hoosiers top scorer, missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Davis said the injury may keep him out of Tuesday's game at Ohio State, too.

    Then six minutes into the game, Vaden, one of the Hoosiers most consistent shooters, went to the bench with his second foul. About seven minutes later, White, Indiana's No. 2 scorer, also was pulled out after drawing his second foul. Wright, White and Vaden didn't return in the first half.

    But it didn't matter much to the Hoosiers, who built an early 20-9 lead.

    Minnesota closed to 22-19 with a 10-2 run, then scored the final six points of the half to make it 29-27.

    But when White and Vaden returned at the start of the second half, the Hoosiers took control with a 10-0 spurt.

    Minnesota got as close as 39-31, but the play of Ewing, Sean Kline and Roderick Wilmont -- all backups -- kept the Gophers from seriously challenging again.

    "Give Indiana a lot of credit," Monson said. "To go without Bracey, they had a lot of guys making shots that usually don't."

    Ewing delivered as he had rarely done before.

    He connected on 4 of 6 shots, including his second 3-pointer of the season, and 6 of 8 free throws, grabbed six rebounds and had two assists in a game Davis described as his best at Indiana.

    Perhaps most important, Ewing, who has been prone to foul trouble and poor shooting, avoided both problems.

    "He's had it all along," Kline said. "Fortunately, he stayed out of foul trouble today, but he's always had it. He's a Ewing, obviously."

    His teammates helped.

    Wilmont finished with seven points and three rebounds, while Kline -- who has sometimes been booed by Indiana's fans this year -- was a strong inside presence defensively when White was out of the game.

    The combination allowed Indiana to roll to its second win in five games. Davis hopes it's an indication the Hoosiers can make a strong finishing run with or without Wright.

    "I thought we played with a lot of energy, like we did against Illinois," Davis said. "Patrick and all the guys off the bench did a great job. We're still not rebounding like I want to, but we are playing hard."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 56 71
    FG Made-Attempted 17-53 (.321) 22-44 (.500)
    3P Made-Attempted 3-14 (.214) 8-13 (.615)
    FT Made-Attempted 19-29 (.655) 19-31 (.613)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 17

    2004-05 Season

    Jan 26, 2005 @MINN 70, IND 65Recap
    » Feb 12, 2005 @IND 71, MINN 56Recap
    Mar 11, 2005 MINN 71, @IND 55Recap