Gophers Hit the Road to Face Northwestern
Series (Away): 76th meeting (34-41)
Current Streak: W-2
Last Meeting: Jan. 6, 2013 (W, 69-51)
Tubby Smith vs. NU: 16th meeting (10-5)
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 712-752
Tubby Smith vs. Big Ten: 63-67
Game Day Tid-Bits:
Minnesota defeated Northwestern 69-51 in the first game of the season series on Jan. 6. Twelve players scored for the Gophers, led by Austin Hollins with 19. Minnesota outrebounded the Wildcats 47-20 with Trevor Mbakwe collecting 11 of the 47.
The Gophers have three players that have double-digit career point averages against Northwestern - Julian Welch (12.5 ppg - 4 games), Andre Hollins (10.0 ppg - 4 games) & Trevor Mbakwe (13.8 ppg - 4 games). Mbakwe is also averaging 12.0 rebounds against the Cats.
Andre Hollins is averaging a team and career-high 14.3 ppg this season, 10th-most in the Big Ten Conference. He is fourth in scoring in conference games with an average of 17.8 ppg. He has led the team in scoring five times this season including a game-high 25 points in the loss at Indiana and a career-high 41 against Memphis.
Andre & Austin Hollins are a lethal combination from behind the arc for the Gophers. Austin is 14-of-22 (.636) from three-point land in his last four games and 16-of-27 (.593) overall in Big Ten play, tops in the conference. Dre Hollins is 13-of-26 (.500) in Big Ten play - tied for fourth - and is on a current 66-128 stretch (.516) since beginning the season 14-of-48.
Trevor Mbakwe is averaging a double-double of 11.0 points and 10.0 rebounds per game over the Gophers' last nine games. He is currently tied for the Big Ten Conference lead in rebounding with an overall average of 8.2 rpg. Mbakwe also led the conference in rebounding as a junior (2010-11). The graduate student has contributed three straight double-doubles and now has 29 for his career.
Four Gopher players that have played valuable minutes this season in the backcourt have shown continued improvement, led by Andre Hollins.
Dre Hollins leads Minnesota in scoring with an average of 14.3 ppg, up from 8.7 ppg during his freshman campaign. His per game rebounding (2.8 from 2.1) and assist averages (3.7 from 1.8) have risen while his overall FG percentage (.455 from .393) & his 3-pt FG percentage (.379 from .429) are also up.
Austin Hollins' averages have gone up every season he has played in Maroon & Gold. Austin averaged 4.5 ppg as a freshman, 9.2 ppg as a sophomore and 11.5 ppg this season. Austin leads Minnesota & is second in the conference in steals this season. He has 117 thefts in his career.
Joe Coleman averaged 5.8 ppg as a freshman and is currently fourth on the team with an average of 10.6 ppg. He contributed a career-high in a win this season at Illinois.
Maverick Ahanmisi has primarly spent time as a backup in his three seasons but is averaging a career-high 4.2 points this season. He is having a career-season in many categories including FG percentage and 3-PT percentage.
Tops in the B1G Conference:
The Gophers head into the matchup against Northwestern as the top team in the B1G Conference in blocked shots (115 - 6.4 bpg) and steals (173 - 9.6 spg).
Minnesota has led the conference in blocks the last four seasons, including four of the top five season block totals in the history of the Gopher program: a program leading 201 in 2008-09, 199 in 2009-10, 169 in 2010-11 and 186 in 2011-12, the fourth-most in program history.
The Gophers also lead the conference in offensive rebounds per game (16.0) and offensive rebound percentage (.479).
As of Jan. 21 in conference play, Minnesota led in 3-point field goal percentage (.468), rebounding margin (+8.8), blocks (6.0 bpg), assists (16.2 apg), offensive rebounds (14.2 per game) & offensive rebound precentage (.452).
Individually, Trevor Mbakwe is tied for the Big Ten lead in rebounding at 8.2 rpg and leads the league in B1G play at 10.8 rpg. He also led the conference in rebounding as a junior (2010-11).
Andre Hollins is fourth in conference play in scoring at 17.8 ppg while Austin Hollins leads conference play in 3-point FG percentage at .593 and tied for the league lead in 3-pt FG's made (3.2 per game).