Gophers in tie for first place in Big Ten
MINNEAPOLIS--Akeem Springs came off the bench to drill five 3-pointers and scored 18 points, pushing him over 1,000 points for his career, on Sunday night as Minnesota recorded a 78-68 Big Ten Conference win over Ohio State at Williams Arena in M...
MINNEAPOLIS-Akeem Springs came off the bench to drill five 3-pointers and scored 18 points, pushing him over 1,000 points for his career, on Sunday night as Minnesota recorded a 78-68 Big Ten Conference win over Ohio State at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
Springs' last 3 swished with three seconds on the shot clock and two minutes left in the game, upping the Golden Gophers' lead to 69-60. Freshman Amir Coffey added a team-high 19 points, while Nate Mason scored 12 points and center Reggie Lynch contributed 10 before fouling out.
Minnesota (15-2, 3-1) won its third straight game since opening conference play with an overtime loss to Michigan State. It also put them in a tie for first place in the Big 10.
With a handful of teams at the bottom of the rankings likely to fall out after losing in the last week, the Golden Gophers could enter the Top 25 a season removed from a last-place finish in the Big Ten.
Jae'Sean Tate tallied a game-high 20 points for the Buckeyes (10-6, 0-3) before fouling out, while Trevor Thompson delivered a 15-point, 15-rebound double-double. JaQuan Lyle contributed 12 points and six assists.
Minnesota roared out to a 26-8 lead at the 9:32 mark of the first half as Springs stuck a 3-pointer. Another 3 by Mason with 5:28 left in the half restored a 17-point advantage for the Golden Gophers at 31-14.
But Ohio State worked its way back into contention by halftime, going on a 13-2 run and drawing within 33-27 as Kam Williams sank a 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining. Minnesota managed to up its lead to 38-27 at the half as Mason drew a foul and converted a pair of free throws with three seconds left.