Gophers' NCAA Tournament Chances Take Hit

The Minnesota Gopher basketball team's chance of making the NCAA Tournament took a severe hit as they fell to Indiana on the road 71-56. It is the second straight loss for Minnesota, which fell to 6-5 in Big Ten play and must face Michigan State on the road next.

A.J. Ratliff and Pat Ewing Jr. each scored 15 points and Robert Vaden added 14 as the Indiana Hoosiers overcame the loss of top scorer Bracey Wright.

Indiana (11-10, 6-4) won for just the second time in five games and moved into fourth place in the Big Ten. It also topped the 70-point mark for the first time since Jan. 8.

Minnesota (16-8, 6-5) lost its second straight despite being led by Vincent Grier with 21 points. Jeff Hagen finished with 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. The Golden Gophers were trying to beat Indiana for the third straight time, a feat they have not accomplished since 1977-78.

The Hoosiers shot 50% from the field and 61.5% from 3-point range, a season best. They never trailed in the contest.

Minnesota shot a season-low 32.1% from the field and finished with 15 turnovers.

Indiana built a 20-9 lead midway through the first half before Minnesota rallied when Vaden and White got into foul trouble. Minnesota used to a 10-2 run to get within 22-19 and closed the half by scoring the last six points to close to 29-27.

When Vaden and White returned, the Hoosiers took control. Indiana opened the second half on a 10-0 run, extending the lead to 39-27.

The Gophers got within 39-31, but the Hoosiers answered with a 7-2 spurt and the Gophers never seriously challenged again.

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