Minnesota, lead by their trio of Mason, McBrayer and Murphy dominated Nebraska 88-73, earning their 8th straight win and getting to 11 conference victories for the first time since the 1989-90 season (apologies to 1996-97). Nate Mason lead all scorers with 25 points, Jordan Murphy had 20 points to go with 11 boards and Dupree McBrayer added 16 points.
Coach Pitino post-game on graduate transfer, Akeem Springs on Senior Night.
“He was one of the best additions that we’ve ever had.”
Points in the paint was total domination by Minnesota’s offense. The Gophers absolutely destroyed Nebraska in the paint. Of their first 50 points, 30 of them came in the paint and 12 from the free throw line. Look at this shot chart from the first half. The Gopher stat crew was running out of room in the paint. Minnesota didn’t make a three until 14:35 in the second half when Nate Mason hit a three to put us up by 20.
The final 5 minutes of the first half where the Gophers went from a 1-point lead to a 13-point lead at the break. The first 15 minutes were relatively close with nobody pulling away. But the turning point came with 5:03 in the 1st half and the Gophers leading by 1 (25-26). The spark was a Jordan Murphy dunk off a missed basket but it was Nate Mason going 5/5 from the line and great defense that kept Nebraska from scoring for 3:17 to open up 25-36 lead.
And Jordan Murphy recorded a double-double for the 6th time in 7 games, his 11th double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
On this team? Nobody, this team is so hot right now.
Gophers head to Madison on Sunday to close out the regular season. There is a very real chance that the Gophers could earn a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament next week with a win.