Indiana 88, Minnesota 81

Cliff Brunt, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Victor Oladipo scored 20 points to help No. 5 Indiana hold off No. 8 Minnesota 88-81 on Saturday afternoon.
Jordan Hulls scored 19 points, Cody Zeller had 18 and Christian Watford had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Hoosiers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten).
Andre Hollins scored 25 points, Trevor Mbakwe had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Austin Hollins added 13 points for Minnesota (15-2, 3-1), which had its winning streak snapped at 11 games. Minnesota was coming off an 84-67 win at No. 12 Illinois on Wednesday.
The Hoosiers led 52-29 at halftime, shooting 66 percent from the field against a Minnesota team that entered the game allowing 38 percent shooting.
The Gophers rallied in the second half and had a chance to steal the game in the final minute. A 3-pointer by Maverick Ahanmisi cut Indiana's lead to 83-77 with 39.3 seconds to go, and the Gophers cut it to 84-81 when Andre Hollins made two of three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-pointer.
Hulls, a senior who entered the game as a career 88 percent free-throw shooter, missed two free throws but got the offensive rebound. He made two free throws with 15 seconds remaining to finally put the game out of reach.
Indiana, which entered the game as the nation's highest-scoring team, took an early 16-12 lead on a fast break layup by Kevin Ferrell. Minnesota came back with a 3-pointer by Ahanmisi, but the Hoosiers came back with a 3-pointer by Hulls, then a steal and layup by Oladipo to take a 21-15 lead.
A 3-pointer from NBA range by Hulls pushed the lead to nine, forced a timeout and sent the Assembly Hall crowd into a frenzy. After the timeout, a putback by Oladipo made it 26-15 before Mbakwe stopped the run with a dunk.
IU went right back to work. Another NBA three by Hulls, then two 3-pointers by Christian Watford, pushed Indiana's lead to 40-21.
Hulls closed the half with another three, one of seven the Hoosiers made in the final 10:08 of the first half.
Minnesota tried to scrape back into the game early in the second half. Mbakwe's one-handed putback dunk cut Indiana's lead to 56-41, then the Hoosiers stepped on the line while trying to pass the ball inbounds. Minnesota got the lead down to 13 and had the ball, but the Hoosiers kept their composure. Ferrell's 3-pointer pushed the lead back to 62-45.
Minnesota rallied once more, cutting Indiana's lead to 77-68 when Austin Hollins made two of three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-pointer. A 3-pointer by Minnesota's Rodney Williams made it 79-71, and the Golden Gophers stole the ball and attacked before Williams missed a putback dunk. Hulls made two free throws at the other end, but Andre Hollins' 3-pointer cut Indiana's lead to 81-74 with 50 seconds remaining, setting up the wild finish.
Notes: Minnesota won six of the previous nine meetings with Indiana. ... All of Minnesota's starters entered the game averaging at least nine points. ... Mbakwe started for the fifth time this season. He is coming back from knee surgery last season. Minnesota committed 12 turnovers in the first half. ... Indiana missed 11 shots in the first half and got offensive rebounds on six of them. ... All five Indiana starters had scored at least 10 points before the midway point of the second half. ... Minnesota's Joe Coleman, who scored a career-high 29 points against Illinois on Wednesday, finished with seven points in 15 minutes and was in foul trouble for most of the game.

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