Thursday, January 17, 2008

Smith stuck at 399

With the game clock dwindling down below twenty seconds, an errant Lawrence McKenzie three-point attempt, followed by two true free throws by Indiana's Lance Stemler iced Tubby Smith's first crack at accomplishing 400 victories.

The Gophers (12-4, 2-2 Big Ten) fought hard, but were mildly offense in falling short. Minnesota shot 37.4-percent from the field and 52.4-percent from the free-throw line in its 65-60 loss to the Hoosiers at Williams Arena tonight.

Led by D.J. White's 17 points and nine rebounds, Indiana improved its record to 15-1. The 6-foot-9-inch, 259-pound forward outplayed Minnesota's front court counterparts and picked up the slack on a turnover-ridden night by his 10th-ranked Hoosiers team.

Minnesota's defense forced Indiana into a season-high 26 turnovers -- seven more than its previous high (19, vs. Tennessee State, Dec. 3).

The Gophers rattled IU's Eric Gordon, limiting the freshman phenom to 12 points (11 below his Big Ten leading 23.0 ppg) and forcing him to commit seven turnovers.

Leading the way for Minnesota's offense senior forward Dan Coleman (15 points and seven rebounds) and Spencer Tollackson (12 points).

Smith's next chance at 400 career victories will come Sunday, when the Gophers host the Michigan State Spartans.

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