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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Williams Arena (14,625) -- Minneapolis, Minnesota. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Wofford 1-0, Minnesota 3-0. Away Record: Wofford 0-2, Minnesota 0-0. Neutral Record: Wofford 0-0, Minnesota 0-0. Conference Record: Wofford 0-0, Minnesota 0-0. Series Record: Minnesota leads, 2-0.
GAMES NOTES: Before taking off for the Maui Invitational the Minnesota Golden Gophers will put their perfect record on the line against the Wofford Terriers in a non-league dispute at Williams Arena.
Wofford has been far from perfect this year with two losses in three tries. The most recent setback came on the road against Iowa by a 76-55 score. The Terriers also lost away from home in the season opener against Georgia (72-52) and have only been able to top Division III foe Emory and Henry College (83-58) in their lone home game.
For Minnesota there has yet to be a slip-up this year, with the Golden Gophers undefeated in their first four tests. The most recent victory came over Coastal Carolina (82-72), which was the first half of this two-game homestand for the Gophers. Including the win over the Chanticleers, Minnesota is 3-0 at Williams Arena.
In two previous meetings between these programs, Minnesota has been victorious each time. The most recent triumph came during the 2010-11 season when the Gophers pulled out a 69-55 victory at Williams Arena.
It was a tale of two halves for the Terriers in their loss to Iona. In the first period the Terriers managed to shoot at a 50-percent rate but they cooled to 35.7 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes. Wofford also failed on defense in the second frame when the Gaels connected on an incredible 68 percent from the floor.
Spencer Collins poured in 23 points in the loss to Iona as he continued to be the leading offensive weapon for the Terriers. Collins (16.7 ppg) is shooting at a 51.6 percent clip from the field and is one of only two double-figure scorers for the Terriers. Karl Cochran (10.3 ppg) is the second leading scorer, doing so off the bench. Lee Skinner (7.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg) is solid on the glass but could produce better on the scoreboard. Other than those three, only Justin Gordon (8.0 ppg) is scoring more than five points per game. Lacking scoring options has kept the Terriers from producing at a high rate. Through three games, Wofford is netting just 63.3 points per game, despite shooting around 45 percent from the field.
Four players scored in double figures and the Gophers also forced 20 turnovers in their win over Coastal Carolina. Minnesota also benefited from a 20-7 advantage in points from the free-throw line to make up for a pedestrian shooting performance (27-of-62).
Scoring has not been a real issue for Minnesota this season. The Gophers are netting 80.3 points per game despite shooting below 43 percent from the field. Minnesota has been able to do so by relying heavily on shots from beyond the arc, as it ranks among the top 25 teams in the country in 3-point attempts and field goals. The backcourt duo of Andre Hollins (21.8 ppg, 3.5 apg) and Austin Hollins (12.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is the heart of the team. Andre Hollins had 19 points in the win over Coastal Carolina for his fourth game of at least 18 points on the year. Andre Hollins isn't selfish either as he has had at least three assists in three of four contests. Austin Collins works as a secondary option and is coming off a 15-point effort. Eliott Eliason (6.8 ppg, 11.2 ppg) eats up the glass for the Gophers and Joey King (10.2 ppg) provides an offensive spark off the bench.
The Terriers don't have the type of defenders on the perimeter to slow down the 3-point barrage for the Gophers nor keep up with Andre and Austin Hollins.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Minnesota 78, Wofford 59
11/21 10:36:05 ET
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