Randy Breuer, a 7-foot-3 center, had 32 points and 12 rebounds as seventh-ranked Minnesota won the Big Ten championship with an 87-75 victory over Ohio State yesterday in Minneapolis.
Minnesota (22-5, 14-4) won its first conference championship since 1972. Ohio State (21-9) tied for second with defending champion Indiana (18-9), a 74-58 winner over Michigan State, and 11th-ranked Iowa (20-7), which was upset by Purdue, 66-65, on Dan Palombizio's free throw with no time left. All three have 12-6 conference records.
Iowa Coach Lute Olson harshly criticized the officiating in his game, saying, "When people can come out and steal basketball games from young people like that crew did, they deserve to be in jail and not working basketball games."
Ohio State triple-teamed Breuer at times, but the junior made 11 of 16 shots from the floor and all 10 free throws. His dunk with 6:03 left in the first half gave Minnesota a 30-19 lead, and the Gophers held a lead of at least 10 points throughout most of the half.
Ohio State cut the deficit to 59-51 on field goals by Tony Campbell and Dave Jones with 12:55 left, but two straight baskets by reserve Jim Petersen opened the lead to 63-51.
Tony Campbell had 21 points and Clark Kellogg 20 for Ohio State.
In West Lafayette, Ind., Purdue (14-13, 11-7) rallied from a nine-point deficit in the second half. Keith Edmonson (17 points) tied the game at 65 with a minute left, and after Kenny Arnold missed a shot for Iowa in the final seconds, the Hawkeyes' Kevin Boyle was called for a foul while contesting Palombizio for the rebound.
Said Olson: "Palombizio was eight feet from Boyle on the opposite side of the basket."
He added: "I'm very proud of our kids . . . I hope we get to play in the NCAA and get some people we can get a fair shake from."
Bob Hansen scored 16 points for Iowa, which lost its third straight.
In Bloomington, Ind., Ted Kitchel scored 17 points for the Hoosiers, but lost the conference scoring championship to Edmonson. Kitchel, who trailed the Purdue player by eight points before the game, finished with a 20.1 scoring average; Edmonson ended the season at 20.6.