THE STORY: Still in search of its first Big Ten win, a struggling Minnesota team looks to score a major upset when it travels to face eighth-ranked Indiana on Thursday night. The Golden Gophers have dropped four in a row to open league play, including a 79-66 home loss to Purdue on Sunday. The Hoosiers are a perfect 11-0 at home and are coming off an 88-82 victory at Penn State.
TV: 7 p.m. CT, Big Ten Network.
RADIO: 6:30/7:00 KRDS 95.5 FM
ABOUT MINNESOTA (12-5, 0-4 Big Ten): The Golden Gophers still lead the Big Ten in blocked shots (5.7) and steals (8.8), but they have struggled somewhat to fill the void left by a season-ending knee injury to leading scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe. Junior F Rodney Williams has done his part, leading active Minnesota players with 10.4 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 1.6 blocks. The Golden Gophers are last in the Big Ten in defending the 3-point line (37.5 percent), which could be a problem against a good shooting team like Indiana.
ABOUT INDIANA (15-1, 3-1): The Hoosiers lead the nation in 3-point percentage (47.6) and rank near the top of Division I in several other categories, including field-goal percentage (4th, 50.5), scoring (8th, 82.4) and scoring margin (6th, 18.6). An opportunistic defense has fueled the offense — Indiana averages 20.2 points off 16.6 opponent turnovers. Freshman F Cody Zeller leads five Indiana players scoring in double figures, averaging 14.2 points and 6.4 rebounds. Junior F Christian Watford adds 13.5 points and 5.7 boards.
1. Indiana leads the all-time series, 93-65, including a 60-57 victory at home last Feb. 2. The Hoosiers held Minnesota to 27 percent shooting in the win.
2. The Golden Gophers have won five of the last seven meetings overall, with both losses during that span coming by three points in Bloomington.
3. Minnesota is 0-2 in true road games, but both losses were competitive — an 81-72 overtime defeat at Illinois Dec. 27 and a 61-56 setback at Michigan on Jan. 1.