Rash of Turnovers Ruins IU's Upset Bid, 62-54

The search for a 40-minute game continues for Tom Crean. For the second straight game, Indiana faced a likely NCAA tourney team on the road and played them short-handed. And for the second straight outing, the Hoosiers were surprisingly competitive before stumbling late...

The search for a 40-minute game continues for Tom Crean.

For the second straight game, Indiana faced a likely NCAA tourney team on the road and played them short-handed. And for the second straight outing, the Hoosiers were surprisingly competitive before stumbling late.

Playing without the suspended Devan Dumes, Indiana overcame a bevy of early turnovers to take a 34-33 lead over Minnesota on Matt Roth's third second-half 3-pointer with 12:48 remaining. But Minnesota countered with a 11-0 run to take a 10-point lead, extended the margin to 14 moments later, and eventually handed the Hoosiers their eighth straight road loss this season, 62-54.

Indiana dropped to 6-17 overall and 1-10 in the Big Ten, while Minnesota improved to 19-5 and 7-5 in league play.

Minnesota's response to IU taking the lead midway through the second half was swift and decisive. Paul Carter scored six of his career-high 22 points during the flurry, including a fastbreak alley-oop dunk following a Kyle Taber turnover. Jamal Abu-Shamala capped the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give the Gophers a 44-34 lead with 10:11 remaining.

Verdell Jones made a pair of free throws to cut the lead to eight, but Ralph Sampson III scored on a conventional 3-point play and Carter followed that up with a 3-pointer from behind the arc to give Minnesota its biggest lead of the game, 50-36 with 7:32 left on the clock.

While Carter was getting it done offensively during the spurt, Indiana was doing its part to help as well with a slew of turnovers. Five of IU's season-high 26 turnovers came during the 11-0 run, two of which led to fastbreak dunks. It marked the 11th time this season the Hoosiers have turned it over at least 20 times, and it was the second straight game that IU has had more turnovers than made baskets (16).

"We're in the games, battling, playing so hard, but we don't give ourselves enough of a chance to win," Crean said. "We get into games and we just don't take care of the basketball."

The turnovers were well distributed among IU's primary ball handlers. Jones, Nick Williams, Daniel Moore and Malik Story all turned it over five times apiece, which led to 22 points off turnovers for the Gophers.

"It would be different if we weren't doing everything under the sun (in practice) to be better with the basketball, whether it's 7-on-5 in the halfcourt, 7-on-5 in the fullcourt," Crean said.

Indiana did manage a late charge in an effort to get back into the game, but was never able to seriously threaten. Williams scored on a fastbreak layup to cut the lead to eight , 52-44, with 4:06 remaining. But Story turned it over twice and Moore then tripped and turned it over for a third late squandered possession with 1:45 left, thwarting Crean's hopes of getting within striking distance in the closing minutes.

"It was an eight point-game and we had six straight empty possessions," Crean said. "That was all she wrote."

The Hoosiers were led by Verdell Jones, who finished with 18 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. Nick Williams added 15 and a team-high six rebounds, while Matt Roth (11) and Story (9) also helped fill the void created with Dumes' absence.

While that was good productivity from the backcourt, Indiana got nothing from its frontcourt. Tom Pritchard and Kyle Taber were held scoreless and combined for only two field goal attempts in 57 minutes. Minnesota dominated the paint as well as the glass, where they pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and owned a 34-25 rebounding edge overall.

The end result was another narrow loss for the Hoosiers, and a frustrating result for Crean.

"I'm not mad at them in the sense that they didn't compete," Crean said. "I'm mad because there's no excuse for us to not have a shot to win this game."

INDIANA 54
Taber 0-1 0-0 0, Pritchard 0-1 0-2 0, Williams 5-7 5-6 15, Roth 4-11 0-0 11, Jones 4-8 8-8 18, Story 3-8 2-4 9, Moore 0-1 1-2 1, Lewis 0-0 0-0 0, Jobe 0-0 0-0 0.Totals 16-37 16-22 54.

MINNESOTA 62
Sampson 2-4 4-5 8, Johns 0-4 0-0 0, Iverson 3-5 0-0 6, Westbrook 0-7 4-4 4, Nolen 2-5 0-1 4, Carter 7-13 7-8 22, Joseph 4-6 0-1 9, Bostick 1-2 0-0 2, Hoffarber 1-4 0-0 2, Abu-Shamala 2-4 0-0 5, Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-55 15-19 62.

3-Pointers: Indiana 6-20 (Roth 3-10, Jones 2-4, Story 1-4, Taber 0-1, Moore 0-1), Minnesota 3-13 (Abu-Shamala 1-2, Joseph 1-1, Carter 1-2, Westbrook 0-3, Hoffarber 0-2, Bostick 0-1, Johnson 0-1, Nolen 0-1). Rebounds: Indiana 25 (Williams 6), Minnesota 34 (Sampson 7). Assists: Indiana 11 (Jones 7), Minnesota 14 (Nolen 5). Turnovers: Indiana 26, Minnesota 19. Blocks: Indiana 7, Minnesota 5. Steals: Indiana 7, Minnesota 14. Halftime Score: Minnesota 27, Indiana 20. Officials: Ted Hillary, Rick Hartzell, Mike Sanzere. Attendance: 14,625.

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