BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Indiana head coach Tom Crean wasn’t aware that his Hoosiers were on the verge of a record night.
Indiana set a school-record with 18 3-point field goals in a 90-71 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday night.
“I didn’t realize it until the very end he said,” Crean said. In fact, not until just before Troy Williams hit the record-breaking basket with 21 seconds remaining on Indiana’s final shot.
“I’m glad that he made it,” Crean said. “And he deserves it based on how he’s been playing lately.”
James Blackmon, Jr. had 24 points and seven rebounds to lead Indiana and was 9 of 14 from the floor, including six 3-pointers, tying a career high.
Williams and Robert Johnson added 19 points apiece for the Hoosiers (18-8, 8-5 Big Ten), who made 18 out of 32 attempts (56 percent) from 3-point range. Indiana, which had lost two of its last three games and four of six,áshot 59 percent and outrebounded Minnesota 35-16.
Andre Hollins finished with 23 points, while Maurice Walker and DeAndre Mathieu scored 12 points apiece for the Gophers (16-10, 5-8), who had a three-game win streak snapped.
Johnson and Blackmon made back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Hoosiers a 50-38 lead early in the second half.
“I think that it was a mindset thing,” Blackmon said. “We knew that we were going to get good shots, so we just wanted to get everyone involved and run the offense and I think that we did a good job of that.”
Later, Yogi Ferrell made a behind-the-back bounce pass to Williams, who hit a 3-pointer to put the Hoosiers ahead 57-44 with 15:21 remaining. Ferrell finished with a career-high 11 assists.
Minnesota, winners of its previous three games, had trouble defending the perimeter while Indianaástepped up from 3-point range.
“We knew they could shoot it,” Mathieu said. “But we didn’t expect them to make 18 3-pointers. We’ve been playing really good defensively, so I think that was kind of a shock.”
Indiana’sáprevious 3-point field goal record of 17 came against Illinois in 2002 and again against Penn State in 2007.
The Hoosiers entered the game the eighth best team in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage.á
Williams converted a 3-point play, and then dunked for a 29-26 lead, putting the Hoosiers up for good with 7:11 remaining in the first half.
After Hollins scored for Minnesota, Blackmon made a 3-pointer to giveáIndianaáa 32-28 lead with 5:39 left in the half.
Still, the Gophers didn’t let up.
Charles Buggs cut it to three with a 3-pointer to make it 36-33, but then Blackmon hit back-to-back 3-pointers around a shot by Hollins andáIndianaáled 42-35.
Johnson scored at the buzzer on a put-back andáIndianaáheld a 44-38 lead at the break.
Minnesota: The Gophers entered the game No. 2 in the nation with 10.8 steals a game, but had just two steals by halftime and finished with five. Still,áIndianaáhad 18 turnovers.
Indiana: Ferrell holds a school-record of 57 consecutive games with at least one 3-point field goal. The streak is the longest active streak in the nation.
CHANGE OF PLANS
With the NBA All-Star break this weekend, Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Zeller planned to attend Sunday’s game, but the former Indiana stand-out had to change his plans. Zeller, who played two seasons for Indiana, posted to Twitter that his flight out of New York City, where All-Star weekend events are being held, had been cancelled. Zellers’ former teammate, Christian Watford, was at the game and spoke to the team after the game.
A NEW FACE
Freshman Jordan Fuchs played for the first time after he was added to the team’s roster before Indiana’s 68-66 loss to Maryland on Wednesday. Fuchs plays tight end for the Hoosiers football team and played in 12 games this season.
Minnesota hosts Northwestern on Wednesday.
Indiana hosts rival Purdue on Thursday.
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