Gophers Outlast Hoosiers, Earn Big Ten Win

With the loss of Devoe Joseph still fresh in the mind of the Gophers, the team took the court to try and get their first Big Ten victory. After being behind at halftime, Minnesota battled back to get the victory by a score of 67-63.

The Gophers stayed poised during the first half when the team struggled offensively. While Trevor Mbakwe started the game well with seven points in four minutes, the rest of the team started slow, shooting 0-7 to begin the game.

During this span, the Gophers had trouble controlling the ball, turning it over four times. Despite the slow start, Minnesota played solid defense in the early going, keeping the Gophers in the game.

With 5:09 left in the half, Maverick Ahanmisi hit a big three to put the Gophers up 23-17. The rest of the half was all Hoosiers who went into the break with a 32-26 lead.

Within five minutes of play in the second, Minnesota was back in the game with the score tied 38-38. Rodney Williams spurred the Gophers on with six early points including a monstrous dunk along the baseline.

When asked about the dunk after the game the high-flying Williams said, "I don't know, I don't feel that one was that nasty."

The Gophers took the lead and extended it to eight points with just over four minutes left. The Hoosiers battled back and to a score of 65-63 with second remaining in the game but clutch free throw shooting sealed the victory for Minnesota.

Trevor Mbakwe continued his dominance on the boards, snagging 16 rebounds including seven offensively to go with 11 points and five blocks.

Rodney Williams played extremely well on the offensive end with 12 points on 6-10 shooting, including two dunks that brought the crowd of over 12,000 to their feet.

Indiana coach Tom Crean said of Williams after the game, "I mean there's things that he does really well. He made some big plays. I know there are people at the next level that think he might be as good of a pro prospect as there is in this league, and when you look at him athletically."

Blake Hoffarber was hot from the floor, shooting 5-7 from the field, 2-3 from behind the arc and 4-6 from the free throw line for a game-high 16 points. Hoffarber hit clutch shots and free throws down the stretch to give Minnesota their first conference win, ending a two-game losing skid.

The Gophers next game is on January 9th against No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus.

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