Gophers Cruise to 80-56 Win Over Mount St. Marys
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Much is expected from Minnesota's Jordan Murphy this year. After struggles in the team's first two games, he was dominant Wednesday night.
The sophomore scored 18 points and added 12 rebounds and the Gophers pulled away to beat Mount St. Mary's 80-56.
Minnesota, which shot 57.4 percent, also had a 46-25 rebounding edge.
''There was a lot of good,'' said Gophers coach Richard Pitino. ''Our post offense was really good; our passing out of the post was really good.''
A member of the Big 10 All-Freshman team last year, Murphy totaled 17 points on 5 of 17 shooting in wins over Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas-Arlington.
''Every time you step on the court it's a new chance to see where you're at skill-wise . and just see how you can impact the game,'' said Murphy, who was 8 of 9 from the field.
''Sometimes he lets certain things zap his energy, whether he's confused by something or whatever,'' Pitino said. ''We just talked about playing through that is the most important thing.''
FREE THROW CONCERNS
Minnesota was 14 of 23 from the free-throw line after shooting 72.2 percent in its first two games.
''It's early in the season I think feeling comfortable up there,'' Pitino said. ''Just got to be confident, stick to the routine.''
NOT GETTING TURNOVERS
Last season, Mount St. Mary's forced at least 17 turnovers in a game 18 times and 20 or more on eight occasions. In three games this season, the Mountaineers have forced an average of 12.3: West Virginia and Minnesota had 13 and Iowa State had 11.
The Gophers, who went 8-23 last year, including home losses to mid-majors South Dakota, South Dakota State and Wisconsin-Milwaukee, continue to advantageously use their depth. This was the third straight game at least five Gophers finished in double figures.
Minnesota is expected to have a tough test Friday when the Gophers welcome St. John's as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. It will conclude a stretch of three games in five nights at home. The Red Storm (2-0) beat Binghamton 77-61 Monday. Friday's game tips off at 8 p.m. with the pre-game at 7:30 on KROC AM.