BLOOMINGTON -- In a game Indiana needed to stay on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, the Hoosiers overcame some turnover issues with one of its best 3-point shooting games of the season.
Guards Al Durham and Armaan Franklin sparked a late IU run with back-to-back 3-pointers, and IU was able to pull away Wednesday in the final seven minutes to beat Minnesota 82-72 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
Trayce Jackson-Davis led the Hoosiers with 20 points and 10 rebounds, posting his ninth double-double of the season and 21st of his career. IU improved to 17-4 in games in which Jackson-Davis posts a double-double.
With the score tied at 55, Durham put IU ahead to stay with a 3-pointer with 7:01 left, then Franklin followed with a 3-pointer with 6:41 remaining. It sparked a 14-2 run which put IU up 71-57 with 3:09 remaining. From there, IU finished the game off at the free-throw line, making 76.7% (23-of-30) of its attempts overall.
Indiana shot 58.3% (7-of-12) from the 3-point line, its second-highest percentage of the season, behind just a Jan. 24 game against Rutgers (10-of-16, 62.5%).
“We got good shots,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said. “We made some tonight, which was good. We were able to make free throws at the end of the game again to keep our cushion. But the big stretch in this game came from defense to offense. We were finally able to get a couple of stops and get (in) some transition.”
Durham and Jerome Hunter added 16 points apiece for the Hoosiers (12-9, 7-7 Big Ten). Franklin scored 11 points before fouling out in the final two minutes, and point guard Rob Phinisee had 10 points and six assists.
IU held Minnesota to 40% shooting overall and 20% (4-of-20) from 3-point range.
“In the last couple of minutes, we finally locked in and strung a couple of stops together, and it led to our offense, and it led to that gap that we made at the end of the game,” Durham said.
Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Marcus Carr led Minnesota (13-9, 6-9) with 19 points apiece as the Golden Gophers dropped to 0-8 on the road. Mashburn Jr., the son of former Kentucky and NBA standout Jamal Mashburn, started in place of Minnesota guard Gabe Kalscheur, who injured his hand during pregame warmups.
Indiana got Jackson-Davis going early, feeding him with an alley-oop dunk for the game’s first basket. Jackson-Davis scored six of IU’s first eight points as the Hoosiers kept pounding the ball inside to build an early 9-7 lead.
Indiana led by as many as six points in the first half, going up 27-21 on a pair of Race Thompson free throws. But turnovers turned out to be IU’s undoing for the remainder of the half. Minnesota converted 11 points off eight IU turnovers before intermission.
A 3-pointer by Minnesota forward Isaiah Ihnen tied the score at 35 with 1:52 left in the first half. Carr then took a hard foul from Franklin on a fast break opportunity and made a pair of free throws, putting Minnesota up 37-35 with 54 seconds left.
Minnesota took the 37-35 lead into halftime, as IU failed to score in the final 2:06 of the first half. Even with the Hoosiers shooting 50% (12-of-24) from the field and 75% (9-of-12) from the foul line in the first half, IU was unable to take a halftime lead for the fourth straight game.
Minnesota finished the game scoring 25 points off 17 Indiana turnovers.
But for as sloppy as the Hoosiers were at times, they also were efficient when it mattered. Indiana shot 66.7% from the field in the second half, scoring 10 of its 14 baskets off assists.
“In the first half, we got a little bit too stagnant,” Miller said. “In the second half, we really committed to getting our movement going, getting our motion going, and I thought our guards did a good job of making the read, and I thought our big guys did a really good job making the second read.”