Minnesota Outmuscles No. 1 Indiana in Big Ten Showdown

Scott HenryFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, IN - JANUARY 12:  Christian Watford #2 of the Indiana Hoosiers and Joe Coleman #11 and Rodney Williams #33 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers reach for a loose ball during the game at Assembly Hall on January 12, 2013 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Minnesota 77, Indiana 73 (FINAL)

The Minnesota Golden Gophers entered tonight's game in a tailspin, losers of eight of their last 11. The Indiana Hoosiers entered tonight's game as No. 1 in America.

Minnesota left its home court happy, securing a 77-73 win over IU that should ensure that the Gophers will advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Gophers' interior muscle proved to be the difference. UM outrebounded Indiana 38-25, according to the ESPN.com boxscore, although figures given on air depicted an even greater disparity. Of those Minnesota rebounds, 17 were on the offensive end as the Gophers pulled in nearly half of their own missed shots.

Sixth-year forward Trevor Mbakwe recorded his ninth double-double of the season, his seventh in Big Ten play, with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Andre Hollins added 16 points, 12 of them in the second half.

Indiana was led by Jordan Hulls with 17 points, including five three-pointers. However, Hulls was invisible in the second half, going scoreless until four seconds remained in the game. Victor Oladipo added 16 points, but he also had a key three-pointer blocked by Rodney Williams with 16 seconds remaining.

IU drops to 24-4, 12-3 in the Big Ten. Minnesota improves to 19-9 and 7-8 in conference.