Minnesota defeated Rutgers 89-67 in a non-conference* matchup at the Barn. The Gophers improve to 8-1 on the season. The Gophers controlled the game throughout and were obviously more talented. That does not mean that this was a clean win, and the score is deceptive in multiple directions. Minnesota struggled to shoot for much of the game, but Rutgers is Rutgers. Nate Mason led all scorers with 26 points.
The Gophers had four players in double figures. Besides Mason, Jordan Murphy had his usual double double. Unusually, the majority of the points came from the foul line. Murphy was just 3-13 from the field, but 12-14 from the charity stripe. For those with long enough memories to recall his foul shooting woes of last season, that was a welcome sight. Murphy also probably should have shot more free throws because at least half of those misses were the result of, shall we say, physical defense from Rutgers.
Murphy also did this.
This is a great combination:— Minnesota on BTN (@MinnesotaOnBTN) December 3, 2017
Nate Mason finds Jordan Murphy for the @GopherMBB alley-oop. pic.twitter.com/3kRbS5GTIA
Reggie Lynch was a rebound away from a double double. The senior had 16 points on 7-10 shooting including the following poster dunk.
And you thought Reggie Lynch only blocked shots?— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) December 3, 2017
No, the @GopherMBB big man just elevated for the poster jam. pic.twitter.com/YnLzSKMThM
Lynch also blocked five shots because water is wet and this is the way of the world.
Dupree McBrayer played on functionally one leg and finished with seven points. He was chucker happy, but I’ll forgive him because leg infections are nasty.
When you hire part time refs, you get part-time quality. #bigtenrefs is already in full swing. Both teams have reason to be annoyed at a squad that utterly failed to do its job for the majority of the game.
The bench had another less than stellar game. While they scored points(!), they bench by and large did not positively contribute to the outcome. Davonte Fitzgerald had a tough night on the defensive end, including giving up six straight points in the first half. Isaiah Washington only attempted one shot, but probably should have attempted more.
The Gophers next play another non-conference* game against Nebraska on Tuesday.
*We refuse to recognize either the stupidity of conference games in early December or Rutgers’s membership in the conference.