Gophers Head to Evanston to Face Northwestern

Go Gophers!
Ralph Sampson III has played in nine career games against Northwestern.

Go Gophers!
Ralph Sampson III has played in nine career games against Northwestern.
Go Gophers!
Minnesota (17-9, 5-8) at Northwestern (15-10, 5-8)
Date Saturday, February 18, 2012
Time 6:00 p.m. CT
Location Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Series Record Minnesota leads 90-60
Last Meeting W, 75-52 (Jan. 22, 2012)
Television BTN (Eric Collins, Shon Morris)
Radio Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)
(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)
Live Stats Click Here
Game Notes Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader | Northwestern
Season Statistics Minnesota | Northwestern
Social Media Facebook | @MNGopherHoops | @CoachTubbySmith

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 151st meeting (90-60)
Series (Away): 75th meeting (34-40)
Current Streak: W-1
Last Meeting: Jan. 22, 2012 (W, 75-52)
Tubby Smith vs. NU: 13th meeting (8-4)
Minnesota vs. Current Big Ten: 707-745
Tubby Smith vs. Current Big Ten: 58-60

Game Day Tid-Bits:
• Minnesota hits the road following a pair of games against ranked teams at Williams Arena.
• The Gophers won the opener in the season series against the Wildcats, 75-52 at Williams Arena. The win snapped a two-game Northwestern win streak.
• All five starters finished the game in double-figures in the first matchup with Northwestern, led by freshman Joe Coleman with 16. Julian Welch chipped in with 14 points, six rebounds & five assists. John Shurna led all scorers with 21 points.
Tubby Smith holds a record of 8-4 against Northwestern.
Ralph Sampson III is averaging 7.4 points & 5.6 rebounds in nine career games against Northwestern. Trevor Mbakwe averaged 17 points & 12 rebounds in the three matchups last season.
• Gopher senior Ralph Sampson III comes into the game 20 points shy of 1,000 career points. With 1,000 points, Sampson III will become just the fifth Gopher player with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks. The others are Kevin McHale, Randy Breuer, Mychal Thompson and Michael Bauer.
• Minnesota has led the Big Ten Conference in blocked shots during the last three seasons, including three of the top four season block totals in the history of the Gopher program: a program leading 201 in 2008-09, 199 in 2009-10 and 169 last season. Sampson III led the team in blocked shots last season and is currently third all-time in program history with 193 career swats. Minnesota has blocked 136 shots this season for an average of 5.2 per game, tops in Big Ten, led by Rodney Williams with 41. Williams is third in the conference with an average of 1.6 bpg. Sampson III is seventh at 1.2 bpg with 27 swats on the season.

Info Not Lost Despite the Loss:
• Minnesota lost the game by 10 to the #6 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes but after giving up an early 20-point run, the Gophers outscored OSU 56-46 the rest of the way.
• Minnesota had three players establish career-highs in the loss.
• Junior Rodney Williams scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds, one shy of his fourth career double-double.
• Junior Julian Welch dished out a career-high nine assists  to go with 11 points. He also tied a career-high with eight FT attempts. He finished 7-of-8 from the line.
• Redshirt freshman Oto Osenieks finished with multiple career-highs, including minutes (26), points (10) & rebounds (4).

Gophers Bench Making an Impact:
Tubby Smith has always utilized his entire roster. This year is no exception.
• Minnesota’s second group of Maverick Ahanmisi, Chip Armelin, Elliott Eliason, either Joe Coleman or Andre Hollins & Oto Osenieks are all averaging at least 10 minutes of court time.
• Minnesota’s bench has outscored the opponent’s bench 133-35 in the last five games.
• Freshman Andre Hollins scored a career-high 20 points off the bench against Wisconsin.
• The Gophers’ bench outscored Nebraska 40-7, led by Armelin’s career-high 15 points.
• Minnesota defeated Illinois at Williams Arena on Jan. 28 behind 39 points from the bench, again led by Armelin who contributed 14 points and a career-high seven rebounds.
• The Gophers are 14-5 this season and 79-40 under Smith when the bench outscores the oppositions’s bench.

Sampson III & the Gopher Record Books:
Trevor Mbakwe had been the talk of the Gophers entering the season but the other senior co-captain, Ralph Sampson III, will more than likely finish his Minnesota career as one of the best big men in program history.

He has a chance to become just the fifth player to finish his Gopher career with 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 150 blocks (Kevin McHale, Randy Breuer, Mychal Thompson and Michael Bauer).

Sampson III Career Numbers
• 120 career games played (109 starts) - 12th All-Time
• 980 career points (8.2 average)
• 607 career rebounds (5.1 average)
• 193 career blocks (1.6 average) - third-most in Gopher History