Sunday, February 03, 2002

Minnesota 88, Indiana 74

Dual torment in Twin Cities

The Associated Press

        MINNEAPOLIS — After watching Indiana run its offense with poise and precision throughout the first 20 minutes of Saturday's game, Minnesota decided to try playing that way in the second half.

        It turned into a real crowd pleaser.

        Rick Rickert scored 27 points as Minnesota surged past Indiana for an 88-74 victory in front of a boisterous crowd of 14,492.

        Dusty Rychart added 14 points for the Golden Gophers (13-7, 6-3 Big Ten), who outscored the Hoosiers 51-26 in the second half and won their third straight game.

        Tom Coverdale had 19 points for Indiana (14-7, 7-2), which fell off Ohio State's pace in the conference race and lost for only the second time in nine games.

        While the conference-leading Buckeyes barely beat Northwestern earlier in the day on their home floor, third-place Minnesota seemingly came back solely on the strength of the crowd noise.

        Rickert thought Williams Arena was louder than it had been all year.

        “We started off like crap, to be very blatant,” Rickert said. “But then we started working the ball around and calming down and we got into a flow. That got the crowd going.”

        Indiana coach Mike Davis noticed.

        “If we're at home tonight, we win by 20,” he said. “It's tough to beat them here.”

        There were reasons other than the noise for the turnaround, though.

        “When we missed shots, they came down and connected,” Davis said. “They shot 63 percent in the second half. That's unbelievable.”

        Minnesota also silenced Jared Jeffries, the Big Ten's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder. He scored seven points on 1-for-8 shooting and had a string of four straight double-doubles broken.

        “They kept collapsing down on me,” Jeffries said, “and I didn't have any space. I couldn't make a move.”

        INDIANA (14-7) — Jeffries 1-8 5-8 7, Fife 4-10 0-0 11, Odle 3-6 2-3 8, Coverdale 6-13 2-5 19, Hornsby 3-5 2-2 10, Moye 1-4 0-0 2, Leach 3-4 2-2 8, Perry 0-1 0-0 0, Newton 3-8 3-4 9. Totals 24-59 16-24 74.

        MINNESOTA (13-7) — Rickert 9-18 7-10 27, Rychart 6-10 2-2 14, Holman 4-5 0-0 8, Fleming 3-9 5-8 12, Bennett 1-3 1-2 4, Hargrow 4-4 1-2 9, Burleson 1-3 0-0 3, Bauer 4-6 0-0 11. Totals 32-58 16-24 88.

        Halftime—Indiana 48-37. 3-Point goals—Indiana 10-24 (Jeffries 0-1, Fife 3-6, Coverdale 5-11, Hornsby 2-4, Moye 0-1, Perry 0-1), Minnesota 8-19 (Rickert 2-4, Rychart 0-2, Fleming 1-5, Bennett 1-3, Burleson 1-1, Bauer 3-4.) Rebounds—Indiana 41 (Jeffries 9), Minnesota 29 (Bennett 8). Assists—Indiana 14 (Coverdale 5), Minnesota 15 (Burleson 4). Total fouls—Indiana 21, Minnesota 19. A—14,492.


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