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Minnesota Basketball Defeats Niagara: Final Score 107-81

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The #14 Gophers are now 3-0 on the year!

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota defeated Niagara 107-81 at Williams Arena. The Gophers move to 3-0 on the season. Five players from Minnesota scored in double figures.

Let’s make one point very clear. The outcome of this game was never in doubt from the moment it was announced on the schedule. The Gophers are flat out more talented than Niagara even on an off night. Nevertheless, tonight the Gophers were only up three points with a little over 11 minutes to play. Niagara appeared to have a lot of confidence and was making a number of three pointers.

Then our other basketball writer rudely asked to watch the game on the subscription that he pays for and I mooch off on. Following that point, the Gophers went on a 34-10 run that was both total domination and super fun to watch. Or so I’m told. I was only able to listen to it on the radio.

Look, much of this game was a hangover game after the win against Providence. The difference between previous years and this year is that the Gophers looked horrible for long stretches of this game and still put up 107 points and won by 26. That is what good teams do when they play a bad team.

Amir Coffey kept the Gophers in the game early. He finished with 18 points on the night and was near unguardable. Coffey made several threes as well as some nifty layups in transition. The sophomore’s jump shot has improved, and if he continues to be a real three point threat the Gophers will be in excellent shape.

In the second half, Reggie Lynch also woke up and had himself a game. The senior almost had a triple double and finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 9 blocks along with six assists.

Jordan Murphy was 1-3 in the first half for 2 points. He finished with 18 and added 11 rebounds for his third double double of the season. Jordan Murphy is very good at basketball. Remember that Pitino still has one scholarship available for the spring signing period. Sometimes it’s possible to strike gold there.

Notes

Jamir Harris was back on the court today after not playing against Providence. The freshman had a nice three pointer in the first half and gave decent minutes.

Michael Hurt appears to be carving out a niche as a spark player for his teammates. While the sophomore has not been much of a scorer, he’s made a lot of smart plays. Tonight, one of those plays was a sweet lob to Murphy for a jam on the fast break. Hurt looks more confident this season.