Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Big Game 1-15-12: Gopher men 80 Penn State 66

The Minnesota Gopher men made it 2 straight wins on the road for the 1st time in 3 years. Following the heart-stopping with an #7 Indiana, this time the victim was cellar-dwelling Penn State. The Gophers took a 7-2 lead early, but Penn State led throughout most of the 1st half, with 23-15 at 7:27 the Lions' largest lead of the day.

The Gophers closed out the 1st half on an 18-5 run to lead 33-31 at intermission, and never trailed again. Penn State tied it up at 33 to open the 2nd half, but the Gophers scored the next 11 points. Penn State scored the next 8 to make it 44-41 but the Gophers then scored another 11 unanswered points to lead 55-41 at 9:33. From 15-23, Minnesota out-scored the Lions 40-18. The closest Penn State got after that was 62-57 at 4:10, but again the Gophers got a big run, 13-3, to put it away at 75-60 with 1:20 on the clock. The final, as you saw above was 80-66.

Joe Coleman, in his 2nd start as a Gopher, scored 10 of those 18 points to close out the 1st half on 3-for-3 FG and 4-for-4 FT. Chip Armelin added 5 points, and Julian Welch 3. Again in the 2nd half, it was Coleman who led the way with 8 points in those 2 11-point runs. Austin Hollins added a pair of 3s, Rodney Williams 4 points, Elliot Eliason a 2 + 1 and Maverick Ahanmisi a FT after a steal.

All together in the 3 runs, Coleman had 18 points on 5/6 FG and 8/8 FT, plus 2 assists. Austin Hollins had 6 points on 2-of-2 3-pointers, and he also had 2 assists. Armelin scored 5 points on 2/4 shooting with a rebound. Welch and Eliason each scored 3 on 1/1 shooting. Welch had 2 assists and a rebound, Eliason 2 boards and a block. Ahanmisi had the 1 point and 1 steal. The Gophers assisted on 9 of 11 buckets during these runs. All in all a very productive few minutes of play from a bunch of contributors.

But it was Joe Coleman was took charge whenever Penn State made a run. He finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 FG and 13-of-14 FT. Ralph Sampson had just 4 points but added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 blocks.

The Gophers overall shot a blistering 55 percent (21-of-38) including 5-of-10 3s. Which is a good thing because they were out-rebounded 15-3 off the offensive glass.

Player of the Day

Joe Coleman

Coach of the Day

Tubby Smith

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