Game Preview: Minnesota vs. Northwestern

Go Gophers! Malik Smith, fresh off a career game at Nebraska, and the Gophers welcome Northwestern Saturday.
Go Gophers!
Malik Smith, fresh off a career game at Nebraska, and the Gophers welcome Northwestern Saturday.
Go Gophers!
 Minnesota (15-6, 4-4) vs. Northwestern (11-11, 4-5)
 Date / Time Saturday, February 1 | 1 p.m.
 Location Williams Arena - Directions
 Tickets MyGopherSports.com
 Travel Local Weather | Parking | Preferred Hotels
 TV BTN
 Radio 1500 ESPN | Gopher Radio Network
 Free Audio Click Here
 Live Stats Gametracker
 Live Blog Click Here
 Game Notes Minnesota | Northwestern
 Official Sites Minnesota | Northwestern
 Social Media  @GopherBBall | Facebook

Jan. 31, 2014

GAME INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014
Time: 1:00 p.m. CT
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Arena: Williams Arena (14,625)
TV: BTN - Mike Couzens (Play-by-Play); Jim Jackson (Analyst)
Radio: Learfield/1500 ESPN Twin Cities - Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play); Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 110/XM 198

SERIES INFORMATION

Series: 156th meeting (93-62)
Series (Home): 75th meeting (56-18)
Current Streak: L-1
Richard Pitino vs. Northwestern: First meeting
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 721-765
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 4-4

GAME DAY TID-BITS

• Minnesota opens the month of February at home, hosting Northwestern in the first of two meetings with the Wildcats.
• The Gophers are 4-4 in Big Ten action, with a 3-1 mark at home in conference play.
• Saturday's matchup is a battle between two first-year Big Ten head coaches, as the 2013-14 campaign is the first for both Richard Pitino and Chris Collins at their respective schools. Saturday is the first game for the Gophers against a first-year head coach in Big Ten play since 2000-01 (Mike Davis - Indiana).
• Minnesota leads the league in steals per game (8.2), is second in free throw percentage (.750), and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (7.5) and assists (14.2).
• The Gophers received five votes in this week's Associated Press Top 25 poll, placing them in a tie for 30th in the rankings. Minnesota last received votes in the AP poll on Mar. 4, 2013.
• Minnesota just concluded a stretch of four-straight games against opponents in the Top 15 of the Associated Press poll. It has happened just once before, when in 1987, the Gophers played #4 Iowa, #11 Illinois, #7 Purdue, and #2 Indiana in succession, going 0-4 in the stretch. The Gophers were 2-2 this year during the four-game test.
• With his career night of 18 points and nine rebounds, junior forward Maurice Walker became the sixth different Gopher to lead the team in scoring during a game this season. He had been averaging 4.9 points and 3.2 rebounds per game this season prior to the Jan. 22 win over the Badgers.
• Two of the Gophers' transfers, guards DeAndre Mathieu and Malik Smith, have played integral roles in the team's success this season. Behind top scorer Andre Hollins, Mathieu is second in scoring in B1G games, averaging 11.8 points per game. Smith is the team's top free-throw shooter (.875) while Mathieu leads the Gophers in assists (91).