Friday, February 19, 2010

Gophers Dominate Wisconsin

In a season marred by inconsistency, the Gopher basketball team followed up disappointing losses to Michigan and Northwestern with a 68-52 victory over #13 Wisconsin Thursday night at Williams Arena. The win was the Gophers' third-consecutive triumph over the Badgers and pushes the Gophers' record to 6-7 in the Big Ten, 15-10 overall.

Blake Hoffarber (16), Damian Johnson (11), Ralph Sampson III (10), and Devoe Joseph (10) each notched double-figures for Minnesota, who shot 58% from the floor in the first half in route to a nine-point lead. Cooler shooting in the second half put the game total to a more pedestrian 48%, but it was enough on Thursday night. The Gophers took care of the basketball for the most part with 11 turnovers in the game.

Wisconsin's poor shooting ruined its chances all night long. Although the Badgers turned the ball over just five times, they shot a putrid 31% from the floor. Trevon Hughes had 19 points, but the bulk of those came at the end in virtual garbage time. Jason Bohannon added 18 for UW.

The Gophers now face Indiana at the Barn on Saturday night - a game they should absolutely win. Matchups against Purdue and at Illinois follow next week. The Gophers need to win at least two of three to keep flickering NCAA Tournament chances alive, but realistically need to win them all.

Thursday's win was the Gophers' second-most impressive victory of the season (the win over Ohio State was #1), and makes fans even more disappointed about the two losses last week and the loss at Indiana last month.

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