Gophers knock off a No. 1 team for the first time since 1989 by defeating IndianaMinnesota Sports
-- February has never been a promising month for Tubby Smith at Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS (Sports Network) - February has never been a promising month for Tubby Smith at Minnesota.
But with March quickly approaching, the senior-laden Gophers picked up their biggest win of the season.
Trevor Mbakwe had 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Gophers tallied their first win over a No. 1 team since 1989 in a 77-73 triumph over Indiana.
Minnesota (19-9, 7-8 Big Ten) began the year 15-1, but entered play Tuesday losers in eight of its past 11 and had a 2-4 mark for the month. The Gophers improved to 16-28 in February under Smith, who's in his sixth year with the school.
"Tonight's game was a real character test," Smith said. "This was just a good win for our program and a good win for us. It gives us some confidence, something to feel good about ourselves."
Minnesota relentlessly attacked the glass, holding a 44-30 edge on the boards while snatching 23 of those on the offensive end.
"There is nothing more glaring than the rebounds," IU head coach Tom Crean said. "That was our biggest issue."
Andre Hollins added 16 points in the victory.
Jordan Hulls knocked down five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points to lead the Hoosiers (24-4, 12-3), who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Cody Zeller, who was blocked emphatically by Mbakwe and Rodney Williams on separate occasions, had just nine points and turned the ball over four times.
The Hoosiers still lead the Big Ten by a game over Michigan State.