Saturday, January 9, 2010

Second Half Shooting Propels U to Hoops Win

The Gophers shot a paltry 39% from the floor in the first half, yet trailed Ohio State by only one point, due primarily to points off turnovers and fine foul shooting. In the second half, the Gophers heated up from the floor, led by Blake Hoffarber's three-point shooting, to lead the Gophers to a 73-62 win over visiting Ohio State.
Minnesota shot 52% from the floor in the second half, including 7-12 from three-point territory. The Gophers used a 23-4, seven-minute run in the second half to pull away from Ohio State, which had kept the game close for the entire game up until the run.

Hoffarber led all scorers with 27 points, including 7-9 shooting from beyond the arc. He was 6 of 7 in the second half from three-point territory, which paced Minnesota. Lawrence Westbrook added 15 points, and Al Nolen had a great all-around game with 11 points, 7 assists, and 4 steals.

Overall, Minnesota shot 45% from the floor, forced 19 Ohio State turnovers, stole the ball 12 times, and out-rebounded OSU 31-30. On the negative side, the Gophers kicked the ball away 17 times of their own and lacked consistency in shooting outside of Hoffarber.

Minnesota is now 3-1 in Big Ten play and moves to 12-4 overall. They are also a perfect 10-0 at Williams Arena this season.

Things do not get easier for the Gophers, as they travel to East Lansing to take on Michigan State on Wednesday night. After a trip to Indiana next weekend, the Gophers will host Michigan State the following weekend. With two games against the Spartans in ten days, fans will get a good opportunity to see what this team is made of. If nothing else, the Gophers will play to avenge last season's 76-47 loss at Michigan State last season.

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