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Minnesota Basketball: Gophers get tip-in win over Pitt to remain undefeated

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A Luke Loewe tip-in secured a 54-53 win for the Gophers over Pitt

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

THE FACTS: Your undefeated Golden Gophers went on the road and beat the Pittsburgh Panthers 54-53. It was a Luke Loewe tip-in off an EJ Stephens missed contested layup to give the Gophers the lead with 2.4 seconds left and they hung on to win and improve to 6-0 on the season.

THE BOX SCORE: HERE

KEY STAT: Forget the Gophers for a second, John Hugley was a beast inside for the Panthers. He nearly had half of their points and at one point he had 20 of the team’s 29 before the Gophers finally slowed him down and the rest of the Panthers had to find ways to contribute. Hugley finished with 25 points, 14 rebounds and was 9/16 from the floor.

THE TURNING POINT: The turning point came with 2.4 seconds. A rather ugly game offensively where neither team was really interested in taking control. But the final play for the Gophers was a nice one. Jamison Battle set a high screen for EJ Stephens who had a contested, right-handed layup that was a little strong. But Loewe came crashing from the opposite wing, showing more hops than we thought he had, to tip in the game-winner.

THE QUOTE: Ben Johnson on the team’s final play, “That was a play we drove for EJ, get to his right hand, and you hope on those plays that you are able to get something at the rim. I thought he did a great job playing through contact and he got to the rim. We just told the guys, we have to be all out. We don’t normally crash offensively, but when it’s time to win a game you have to be all out. Luke [Loewe] made a great play with a great read and was able to tip it in.

HOT: John Hugley. He was unstoppable for a while.

NOT: The Gopher bench. I really like Sutherlin, but the Gophers are really 6 deeps and I really do not like that recipe.

UP NEXT: The Gophers head to beautiful Starkville, Mississippi to face Mississippi State on Sunday the 5th at 1:00.