Hoffarber buries eight treys in Gopher rout of Northern IllinoisMinnesota Sports
- Blake Hoffarber set a new University of Minnesota record by making eight three-point shots in an 89-48 rout of Northern Illinois Tuesday at Williams Arena.
From MAC Report Online.com
MINNEAPOLIS - Visiting Northern Illinois committed 21 turnovers and Golden Gophers junior Blake Hoffarber established a school record with eight treys as Minnesota drubbed the Huskies 89-48 Tuesday at Williams Arena.
“I think it’s the best team we’ve played all season,” said NIU head coach Ricardo Patton, whose squad lost its fourth straight game while falling to 1-6 on the season.
Minnesota, meanwhile, won its fourth straight. Hoffarber has shined in each of the four. Prior to Tuesday’s explosion, he scored 13, 18 and 20 points.
“I’m proud of Blake Hoffarber and the shooting exhibition he put on tonight,” Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said. “He’s very deserving of (the record) because he’s a young man that’s worked his heart out. He’s a guy that’s always in the gym. He’s a gym rat, comes in early, stays late (and) does all the things that we ask him to do on and off the basketball court.”
Hoffarber’s fourth trey of the game put the Gophers up18-8 with 13:33 remaining. By halftime, the hosts led 44-23.
“I started hitting a couple shots there, and my teammates were finding me, and I just kind of felt like I couldn’t miss there for a while,” Hoffarber said. “The rim definitely felt a little bigger tonight.”
Things didn’t get much better for NIU after intermission. Minnesota (8-3) hit 54.8 percent of its shots and held the Huskies to 30 percent.
The “bottom line is they shot the ball much better than we were able to shoot the basketball,” Patton said. “We tried to go inside, and we didn’t come away with a lot. Guys just didn’t make shots to match the shots that were made on the other end.”
Among the struggling Huskies was guard Xavier Silas. The junior made his first game appearance since breaking his hand in the opener and missing five games. He scored nine points while hitting 4 of 15 shots, including one trey.
A 24-5 run during the second half put the Golden Gophers up 74-37.
Hoffarber tied the school record during that stretch and was reinserted back in the game with three minutes left. He connected on his eighth trey with 1:28 remaining.
Although Hoffarber has been particularly productive, Smith indicated the team as a whole is also getting it done.
“We’ve been playing well of late,” Smith said. “”We’re sharing the basketball … - 24 assists and 34 field goals, that’s a pretty good job of sharing the basketball.”
Northern Illinois shared, as well. Minnesota outscored the visitors 26-8 on turnovers.
The hosts also enjoyed advantages in the paint (38-22), second chance points (14-10), fast breaks (19-8) and off the bench (25-16).
In addition to Hoffarber’s 26, Minnesota got double-figure scoring from Lawrence Westbrook (15) and Ralph Sampson III (14).
Silas and Sean Kowal each scored nine points to lead NIU.