MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Wofford College) – On a cold and snowy Thursday night, the Wofford men’s basketball team was defeated 79-57 by the University of Minnesota at historic Williams Arena. The Golden Gophers opened the game on a 13-0 run and had a 26 point lead at the break, but the Terriers outscored Minnesota in the second half.
Wofford is 1-3 to open the season. Minnesota improves to 5-0 under head coach Richard Pitino. Lee Skinner led the Terriers with 18 points and seven rebounds, while Spencer Collins and Eric Garcia each added ten points. The Golden Gophers were led by Austin Hollins, who leads the Big Ten in scoring, with 18 points. Elliott Eliason had 11 points and 11 rebounds, along with seven blocks.
“I am pleased with our attention to detail and our willingness to make it better, but we have to have a better resolve,” said head coach Mike Young. “We have to have a better look to us when things start to go south. We have to have a better response to a little adversity. I credit Coach Pitino and his Gopher team. I thought they did some nice things and the barrage of shots that went down for them in the first half was discouraging. We have to do a better job of defending.”
The Golden Gophers opened the game with a three pointer and jumped out to a 13-0 lead after three minutes of play. Spencer Collins ended the run, but Minnesota pushed the score to 18-2 at the 14:11 mark of the first half on the strength of four three pointers. A three pointer by Spencer Collins made it a 27-9 game at the ten minute mark.
A jumper by Eric Garcia cut the lead to 29-11 with eight minutes left in the first half. A pair of lay-up by C.J. Neumann and Lee Skinner made it a 37-18 game at the 4:30 mark of the half. The Golden Gophers scored the final nine points of the half for a 50-24 lead at the break. Minnesota shot 70.8% from the floor in the first half, including 6-of-11 from three.
Lee Skinner scored the first points of the second half, but Minnesota had a 55-30 lead after four minutes. A dunk by Justin Gordon cut the score to 55-32 at the 15:40 mark. Back-to-back buckets by Karl Cochran made it a 59-36 game with 12:05 on the clock. Lee Skinner hit two free throws for a 61-40 score, but the Golden Gophers answered with a three.
Wofford’s C.J. Neumann added a jumper with eight minutes left in the game which made it a 64-44 score. Eric Garcia hit a three and a pair of free throws by Spencer Collins cut the lead to 72-52 at the four minute mark. Minnesota again answered with a three pointer and was able to make it a 79-57 final score.
Wofford shot 31.0% from the floor while Minnesota shot 50.8% overall. The Terriers were 4-of-21 from with three, while the Golden Gophers were 8-of-23 from behind the arc. Minnesota was 11-of-13 from the line while Wofford was 17-of-20 on free throws. Minnesota had a slim 36 to 35 lead on the glass. Wofford had 11 turnovers on the night, while Minnesota had eight.
Wofford will travel to High Point on Sunday for a 5:00 p.m. contest before returning home on Saturday, November 30 against Johnson and Wales at 2:00 p.m.
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