U men's hoops 2-0 in Big Ten, have big game at Purdue TuesdayMinnesota Sports
- The University of Minnesota men's basketball team thrashed Iowa Saturday 86-74. The Golden Gophers are 2-0 in the Big Ten and face their biggest test of the season, a game at undefated Purdue's Mackey Arena on Tuesday
By Dan Adams, Bleacher Report.com
IOWA CITY, Iowa - After struggling to get off to good starts for the majority of the first half of the season, the Minnesota Gophers decided to use a full-court press to change all of that Saturday afternoon in Iowa.
Typically, the Gophers have struggled at Carver Hawkeye arena losing in four of their previous five trips. Tubby Smith's strategy was to press the young Hawkeye's and force them into as many uncomfortable situations with the lack of agility and dribbling ability in the Iowa backcourt.
The first half was a landslide which created a huge lead for the Golden Gophers. The Gophers forced 18 first-half turnovers, converting them into 31 points. At one point, the Gophers led 43-18 with about five minutes remaining in the half.
Offensively, Blake Hoffarber continued to shoot extremely well from the field and particularly from behind the three-point line. After a 5 of 7 performance from downtown on Saturday, he has improved his three-point field goal percentage to nearly 51 percent. With Hoffarber shooting this well, the Gophers have looked like a completely different team offensively.
It seems to spark others on the team as well, there is saying that good shooting is contagious. In the Gophers latest seven game winning streak, Hoffarber has shot 46 of 70 from the field. The Gophers as a team have averaged over 89 points per game. Also, when the Gophers have scored 70 points this season, they are 11-0. All together it is pretty obvious that with Blake Hoffarber shooting the ball so well, the Gophers have a chance to beat anyone in the Big Ten.
They will get their toughest test of the season next Tuesday when they travel to Indiana to play the No. 4 Purdue Boilermakers (13-0). Purdue absolutely dominated the undefeated No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers (11-1) from start to finish in their game on New Years Day. Purdue led by as many as 25 in the second half against a team that had defeated Marquette on a miracle last second shot earlier in the week.