U men’s basketball preview vs. Rutgers: Gophers return from brief COVID pause

Star Tribune/TNS
·1 min read

GOPHERS GAMEDAY

11 a.m. vs. Rutgers • Williams Arena • Big Ten Network, 100.3 FM

Preview: The Gophers (10-5, 1-5 in the Big Ten) will try to halt a four-game losing streak Saturday coming off a COVID-19 pause to play Rutgers at home. With only seven scholarship players last Sunday, Minnesota fell 81-71 against Iowa at home. Ben Johnson is still looking for his first Big Ten victory at Williams Arena after only beating Michigan on the road Dec. 11. The Scarlet Knights (11-6, 5-2) have four victories at home in league play, but they've also won on road at Maryland. They have four straight wins against the Gophers in the series, including 77-70 in overtime last season for the program's first victory ever at the Barn.

Players to watch: Senior E.J. Stephens had a season-high 22 points against Iowa, including 15 points in the second half. Stephens is averaging 17 points in his past three games. Senior big man Charlie Daniels had four points, five rebounds, three assists, and two blocks replacing injured starter Eric Curry last Sunday. Rutgers sophomore Cliff Omoruyi grabbed double-digit rebounds in five of his past six games, including a career-high 14 rebounds against the Hawkeyes.

Numbers: The Gophers rank last in free-throw percentage (65.4), three-point percentage (27.8), three-pointers per game (5.3), and assists (9.7) in Big Ten play.

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