Game Day Essentials
Indiana (17-10, 8-9) v. Minnesota (13-13, 4-13)
- Tip Time: 6:05 p.m. Eastern
- Location: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minn.
- Television: ESPN2 (Jason Benetti (Play-by-Play) and Robbie Hummel (Analyst)
- IU Radio Network: IU Radio Network
- Stream: Watch ESPN
- Point Spread: Indiana is a 3-point favorite
- KenPom Projected Score: No. 42 Indiana 67 No. 101 Minnesota 65
- Series: Indiana leads 105-69. Indiana is currently on a four-game win streak over the Gophers. Minnesota’s last win over the Hoosiers was an 84-63 win Feb. 16, 2019 at Williams Arena. Indiana won the last meeting 73-60 on Jan. 9.
OTHER GAME COVERAGE
- IU basketball’s Jordan Geronimo using every inch of his natural gifts to create (sometimes wild) winning plays
- Watch: Jordan Geronimo and Anthony Leal Q&A as IU basketball prepares for Minnesota
Minnesota hosts its regular home season finale Sunday. The Gophers enter the last home game with an 8-6 record when playing in the Williams Arena confines, including three of its four conference wins at the Barn.
The Golden Gophers have not played Indiana at home since Feb.19, 2020 when they fell to the Hoosiers, 68-56.
Sunday also marks senior day for eight Gopher seniors: Eric Curry, Charlie Daniels, Joey Kern, Luke Loewe, Danny Ogele, Eylijah Stephens, Sean Sutherlin and Payton Willis. Ben Johnson’s first senior class will be honored following the game.
Guard Luke Loewe is sitting at 998 career points. The fifth-year senior held 769 career points with William & Mary and now has 229 as a Golden Gopher. Should he reach this goal. He’d be the third Gopher this season to accomplish the feat.
Jamison Battle reached his 1,000th collegiate point with his first made field goal of the Penn State game (2/17). Battle has had nine games in which he’s scored over 20 points in a game, a team high.
Payton Willis reached 1,000 career points against Green Bay earlier this year. Willis was the first Gopher since 2020 to
have a double-double in points and assists. The Penn State win (2/12) marked his third point-assist double-double this season. Willis is just the third player in school history to record at least three point-assist double-doubles in a season,
Eylijah Stephens leads all Gophers in career scoring with 1,283 points heading into Sunday’s game. He accomplished 1,000 college points while at Lafayette.
Eric Curry is having one of his best point production seasons of his career. He has set career best games in points three times this season, most recently 22 against Penn State as well as field goals made (10) and attempts (19) against MSU). He also established a career-best rebounds (12 vs. Texas A&M CC) and tied career bests in assists.
A veteran group, the Gophers turn over the ball very few times, 250, which ranks third in the league and seventh nationally.
The Gophers have had eight games in which they committed five or fewer turnovers a game. Of the eight games, six have come against Big Ten opponents: Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State. Overall, Minnesota has had 14 games in which it has committed single-digit turnovers.
Minnesota ranks eighth nationally in fewest fouls (and first in the Big Ten) with 360.
Individually, Jamison Battle and Payton Willis average 2.4 three-pointers per game, which ranks fi fth and sixth in the league. Battle’s 16.6 ppg ranks ninth in the Big Ten.
Willis also ranks second in the league in steals per game (1.58) and fifth total steals
Willis, Battle and Luke Loewe average most minutes played per game at 36.2 36.1 and 34.3, which ranks second, third and sixth in the league.
Minnesota’s 10 of 12 losses this season have come to top 35 teams in the NET rankings (Purdue – NET ranking 10, Illinois – 14, Ohio State (twice) – 17, Iowa – 19 (twice), Wisconsin – 21 (twice) and Michigan State (twice)- 36. Minnesota’s only losses not in the top 40 have come against Indiana (42), Penn State (84) and Nebraska (187). Minnesota also captured wins over Michigan (33) and Mississippi State (52).
HEAD COACH BEN JOHNSON PREVIEWS THE GAME
THREE KEYS TO THE FIRST MEETING
Below were our three keys to Indiana’s win in the first meeting, 73-60 in Bloomington on Jan. 9.
Five Indiana players reached double-figures in that game and used a 17-4 run to win the game. Jamison Battle had 19 points, followed by Payton Willis with 18 and Eylijah Stephens with 12.
1. Solid contributions from the point guards. Minnesota was content to allow IU point guards Xavier Johnson and Rob Phinisee to beat them, and both players responded to the challenge. Johnson had 14 points, 5 assists and 1 turnover, and Phinisee had 13 points, 4 assists and no turnovers. Both players were 4-of-10 from the field and combined to go 6-of-15 from three. It wasn’t an exceptionally efficient effort, but enough to provide a good counter to the Golden Gophers’ game plan.
2. Finding defensive answers. Indiana started each half slow on the defensive end as Minnesota spread the floor and looked to dribble drive. Each half IU altered its lineup to put better perimeter defenders on the floor and it worked. IU outscored Minnesota 25-11 in the last 11 minutes of the second half, and 25-10 in the last 12 minutes of the first half. The second half perimeter trio of Johnson, Phinisee and Trey Galloway closed the game. The Golden Gophers didn’t score from the field in the last three minutes of the game.
3. Assists to turnovers. Indiana matched a season low with six turnovers against 17 assists. It was Indiana’s third straight game with single-digit turnovers. Admittedly, IU has been facing teams not looking to force turnovers, but the ball security allowed the Hoosiers to score 1.22 per possession. With Minnesota not allowing Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson to beat them, IU’s big men also each chipped in with two assists.
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