Feb. 10, 2013
Illinois (17-8, 4-7 Big Ten) 57, No. 18/18 Minnesota (17-7, 5-6 Big Ten) 53
Williams Arena - Minneapolis, Minn.
Minnesota Head Coach Tubby Smith
“Well we’re just going to have to compliment Illinois on the good job they did on coming here and being able to shoot the ball they way they did and defend. They had a good game plan especially in the second half with double teaming Trevor (Mbakwe). We just didn’t do the things we had to do in guarding the threes or switching like we should. We had some time to foul. We tried to foul to get ourselves back in the game. A lot of things they did better than us in the game, just taking care of the basketball.”
On small mistakes snowballing into larger ones:
“I think we’re trying to do too much, trying to make a great pass. We’ve talked about it before and its not being cautious because they wouldn’t have thrown it… We found another way to lose the game instead finding ways to win.”
On Elliott Eliason starting the game:
“Elliot gives us everything. He goes hard. Two blocks, three assists. Heck he was the second leading assist guy. At the end there a guy shot a three over him but I’ve been impressed. He’s been playing well.”
On Rodney Williams sitting out with an injury:
“This is a game where Rodney would like to get up and down. We needed more depth. I thought that that’s one area that hurt us but otherwise if you just make some shots and grab the ball, we can win some games. If we can't do that, we can't win Rodney or not.”
On offensive rhythm:
“If we could cut our turnovers in half we should be okay."
Illinois Head Coach John Groce
“I was really proud of our guys' toughness and togetherness down 13-2 and 26-14. I though we really battled. Early in the year, we certainly had games were we battled and showed toughness and togetherness, but one thing that is happening now is that people trust each other. They trust the system more. They are sticking with the game plan even when they are behind. I thought we had several people step up and make plays. That is two games in a row where we were tough and able to weather some adversity.”
On Tyler Griffey’s current play:
“His mind is in a good place. He is really tough right now. He is just really locked in during the game.”
On if people are having fun now:
“I thought that we could get better on defense. Our offense has been getting better fast. We have gotten better. Sometimes people do not what to hear that when you lose.”
On the team's 11 three pointers:
“I thought our execution was very good. We got going in transition. We were not running anything. We were just running and getting threes before the defense was set. I thought we executed things and guys made shots.”
Minnesota Guard Austin Hollins
On Illinois hitting three-pointers and finding open looks:
“Definitely. We had a few missed shots, some turnovers, and they capitalized on that. Running on transition, doing like they do, hitting threes.”
On not being more aggressive defensively:
"I think it was on and off. There were times where we were aggressive and sometimes we were a little passive, lost a little focus. I think the main thing was just getting out on threes. They hit a ton of threes. That’s what they do. They shoot the ball, so we have to get out there and make them drive to the basket.”
Balanced Effort Leads Gophers Over Penn State
Nate Mason had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Jordan Murphy added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Minnesota Gophers in an 81-71 win over Penn State on Saturday.
Preview: Gophers vs. Penn State
Minnesota returns home for its final homestand of the year and final game in the month of February.
Traffic Advisory: Busy Weekend on Campus
Fans are advised to plan extra time for travel and parking on campus this Friday and Saturday due to multiple events taking place.