Feb. 4, 2014
Date: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Time: 8:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. CT
Location: West Lafayette, Ind.
Arena: Mackey Arena (14,264)
TV: BTN - Chris Denari (Play-by-Play); Shon Morris (Analyst)
Radio: Learfield/1500 ESPN Twin Cities - Mike Grimm (Play-by-Play); Spencer Tollackson (Analyst)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 108/XM 190
Series: 166th meeting (76-89)
Series (Away): 77th meeting (34-42)
Current Streak: W-1
Richard Pitino vs. Purdue: 1-0
Minnesota vs. Big Ten: 721-766
Richard Pitino vs. Big Ten: 4-5
GAME DAY TID-BITS
Minnesota heads to West Lafayette on Wednesday, marking the first repeat opponent of the year as they face Purdue.
The Gophers are 4-5 in Big Ten action, with a 1-3 mark on the road in conference play.
Purdue is the first opponent the Gophers see for the second time. On Jan. 5, Minnesota picked up its first B1G win with the 82-79 victory at the Barn over the Boilermakers.
Minnesota leads the league in steals per game (8.3), is second in free throw percentage (.746), and ranks fourth in three-pointers made per game (7.3) and assists (14.2).
Under first-year head coach Richard Pitino, the Gophers have lost back-to-back games just twice, and each time they rebounded with a victory. Besides the current stretch, Minnesota lost its first two games in the Maui Invitational and rebounded with a 83-68 win over Chaminade to close tournament play.
Last month, Minnesota 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 against Wisconsin, 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, Smith and Mathieu is second and third on the team in scoring in B1G games, averaging 11.7 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Smith is the team's top 3-point shooter (.400) and second-best free-throw shooter (.840) while Mathieu leads the Gophers in assists (96).