Gophers Play Host to Northwestern on Sunday
Jan. 5, 2013
Game Day Tid-Bits:
Minnesota and Northwestern have met 153 times prior to tonight with the Gophers holding a 92-61 lead in the series. The Gophers won the last matchup in overtime in the opening round of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. Andre Hollins scored a then career-high 25 points to pace Minnesota.
The Gophers will have an opportunity to start the conference season 2-0 for the first time since be- ginning the 2009-10 slate with wins over Penn State & Iowa.
Minnesota will head into the matchup against Northwestern ranked No. 9 in the latest AP poll. The ranking is the highest the Gophers have been in the Tubby Smith era and also the highest the program has been ranked since the 1981-82 team reached No. 5 in the polls. Minnesota did reach No. 2 during the 1996-97 season but that season has since been vacated.
Smith currently has 116 wins on the bench at Minnesota, the seventh-most in the history of the program and three shy of passing Dan Monson for sixth on the list. Also, Smith is tied with Jim Dutcher with the third-highest winning percentage in team history at .627 (116-69). L.J. Cooke sits atop the Gophers' win list with 250 wins in 28 sea- sons.
The Gophers are averaging 40.9 rebounds per game this season, the highest rebounding average in the Tubby Smith era. Also, Minnesota is outrebounding its opponents by 9.9 rpg this season, the highest disparity in the Tubby Smith era and the second-highest in the Big Ten Conference this season. The Gophers lead the conference in offensive rebounds with an average of 16.5 offensive boards per game.