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February 8, 2014

Turnovers hurt IU in second half of loss at Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Maurice Walker pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Hollins added 10 points for the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten), who lost to Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue over the last two weeks by a total of eight points. This time, they came through in the closing minutes.

Yogi Ferrell led the Hoosiers (14-9, 4-6) with 14 points and four assists, but he went just 2-for-9 from 3-point range. Noah Vonleh had 12 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks, and Will Sheehey and Troy Williams each scored 11 points, but the Hoosiers had 11 turnovers in the second half.

The Gophers took their first lead, 50-49, with less than 11 minutes left when Malik Smith faked a shot and with a mid-air pass found Walker wide open for an uncontested layup. Smith banked in a 3-pointer a little later.

Then with 3:14 remaining, Hollins, just like Smith did a few minutes earlier, passed up a jumper and threaded the ball inside for Elliott Eliason and another easy layup for a 60-56 Gophers lead.

Vonleh's layup off a steal underneath the basket brought the Hoosiers within 62-60 with 41 seconds left, but the super-quick Mathieu's water bug-like drive for a layup with 11.6 seconds remaining pushed the lead back to four.

The Hoosiers fell to 2-7 away from Assembly Hall this season.

They led comfortably for the whole first half, by double digits at times, a product of effective attacking of the basket that got them to the free-throw line often. They made half of their eight 3-point attempts before the break, too, including a shot-clock beater by Ferrell as he fell down to put Indiana up 31-20.

The Gophers went long stretches without making any jumpers and again needed Walker to take over the low post for them to get in a rhythm with the ball. Walker threw down two dunks in the final 2:35 of the half, including one with 2 seconds left to bring the Gophers within 36-30.

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