THE LEAD: Getting contributions from different guys at different times, Minnesota controlled the game throughout and went on to beat Rutgers 88-70 at home. The win gives Minnesota a 3-2 Big Ten record and 13-3 overall.
Amir Coffey led all scorers with 29 points, just 8 at the break but Coffey ignited the Gophers in the second half making shots and two huge transition dunks. Jordan Murphy was 9-11 from the line helping him to 15 points, 16 rebounds and he moved past Draymond Green to be the 4th leading rebounder in Big Ten history. Dupree McBrayer and Gabe Kalscheur both hit double digits with 15 and 11 respectively.
THE STAT: At one point in the second half, with Minnesota up 11, Isaiah Washington had 4 assists, 1 steal, zero turnovers and was making a significant contribution to the game before ever taking a shot. Washington made his next 3 shots when he took them, but was really helping the Gophers open this game up without shooting.
TURNING POINT: The Gophers began the second half pounding the ball into the paint and Jordan Murphy scoring early, both scoring in the paint and getting to the line. This forced Rutgers back into their zone. Then it was Isaiah Washington running the point against this zone, forcing Rutgers back to man. Great adjustments by Pitino, great play by Washington and Rutgers was done as Minnesota opened their lead up 20 with just under 6 minutes left.
HOT: McBrayer was carrying the Gophers in the first half with 12 points, going 3/3 from three. And 4 assists to add in that first half as well. McBrayer finished the game with 15 points and 10 assists.
GOOD MOVE: Pitino playing Washington against the Rutgers zone in the second half. Washington has very much struggled at times this year and the Gophers have often struggled against zones. What Washington brings is that he penetrates, he moves the ball
BAD MOVE: Washington throwing the ball back at the head of Montez Mathis, earning him an ejection with 3:48 left to go.
NOTABLE: This was mentioned earlier but Murphy has the 4th most rebounds in Big Ten history.
UP NEXT: Minnesota heads to Illinois in what is an important road game for the Gophers. Wednesday night at 8:00, game can be seen on BTN.