Gophers Host Michigan State Wednesday Night at Williams Arena

Go Gophers! Rodney Williams led the Gophers with 15 points earlier this season against Michigan State in East Lansing.
Go Gophers!
Rodney Williams led the Gophers with 15 points earlier this season against Michigan State in East Lansing.
Go Gophers!
Minnesota (17-10, 5-9) vs. #6/6 Michigan State (22-5, 11-3)
Tickets Purchase Online
Date Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Time 7:30 p.m. CT
Location Williams Arena (14,625)
Series Record 109th Meeting (54-54)
Last Meeting L, 68-52 (Jan. 25, 2012)
Television BTN (Gus Johnson, Shon Morris)
Radio Learfield/1500 ESPN (Listen Online)
(Mike Grimm, Spencer Tollackson)
Live Stats Click Here
Game Notes Minnesota Get Acrobat Reader | Michigan State
Season Statistics Minnesota | Michigan State
Social Media Facebook | @MNGopherHoops | @CoachTubbySmith

SERIES INFORMATION
Series: 109th meeting (54-54)
Series (Home): 52nd meeting (32-19)
Current Streak: L-3
Last Meeting: Jan. 25, 2012 (L, 52-68)
Tubby Smith vs. MSU: 18th meeting (3-14)
Minnesota vs. Current Big Ten: 707-746
Tubby Smith vs. Current Big Ten: 58-61

Game day Tid-Bits:
• Minnesota is back at Williams Arena to face the #6 ranked Michigan State Spartans.
• Michigan State is the third top 10 team this season the Gophers have faced. Minnesota is 1-2 in those games - a win over then #7 Indiana and losses to the then 10th ranked Spartans & #6 Ohio State.
• Head Coach Tubby Smith has secured six wins over top 10 opponents in just his fifth year at Minnesota. Smith has 31 total wins over top 10 opponents in his illustrious career.
• Junior Julian Welch is coming off a his best scoring game as a Golden Gopher. He led the team with 21 points, 15 came from behind the arc, against Northwestern. He also led the Gophers with five assists and two steals.
• Welch is leading the Gophers in three-point shooting in his first season on campus. He comes into the MSU game fifth in the Big ten Conference in three-point shooting at .443 (35-79). His precentage is currently the third highest single-season performance in Gopher History behind Travarus Bennett (.469: 2001-02) & Blake Hoffarber (.467: 2009-10).
• Gopher senior Ralph Sampson III comes into the game 16 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 139 shots this season for an average of 5.1 per game, tops in Big Ten, led by Rodney Williams with 42. Williams is fourth in the conference with an average of 1.6 bpg. Sampson III is seventh at 1.1 bpg with 27 swats on the season.

Gophers Against Top 10 Teams:
• Michigan State comes into the game as the 6th ranked team in the nation. Minnesota is 1-2 this season against top-10 ranked teams (#7 Indiana - W, #10 MSU - L, #6 OSU - L).
• With the win earlier this season over Indiana - ranked 7th at the time, Tubby Smith secured his sixth victory over top-10 ranked teams in his four-plus seasons at Minnesota. Smith has a total of 31 career victories over top-10 teams.
• Prior to Smith's arrival, the Gophers hadn't defeated a top 10 team since February 9, 2000 when Minnesota beat No. 9 Indiana 77-75.
• The win over No. 8 Purdue on Jan. 13, 2011 at Williams arena was Minnesota's fifth victory over a top 10 ranked team under Smith.
• The Gophers defeated No. 8 North Carolina in the second round of the 2010 Puerto rico Tip-Off on Nov. 19.
• The Gophers beat No. 6 Purdue and No. 10 Butler during the 2009-10 season and No. 9 Louisville during the 2008-9 season.

Home Sweet Home:
• The Gophers have a record of 65-21 (.756) at Williams arena under head coach Tubby Smith  in his four-plus seasons at Minnesota.
• The Gophers went a perfect 10-0 during the non-conference schedule at Williams Arena. Under Smith, Minnesota is 41-1 in regular season non-conference games at "The Barn".
• Minnesota is allowing just 61.0 points per game at Williams arena under Smith (86 games). Under Smith, opponents have only reached 70 points 20 times in the 86 games at The Barn (23% of the time).
• Prior to giving up 78 point to #6 Ohio State, the Gophers had given up the least amount of points at Williams Arena in the Smith era. They are currently giving up an average of 59.5 ppg, seven fewer points allowed per game than a season ago.
• The lowest average came during the 2008-09 campaign when Minnesota's opponents averaged 58.4 ppg.

Tubby Smith & Staff to Particiapate in ON THE LINE Statement Week:
Gopher Head Coach Tubby Smith and his staff will be wearing blue bow ties during Wednesday's game as part of the ON THE LINE prostate cancer Statement Week. Coach Smith is a prostate cancer survivor.

During Black History Month in February, ON THE LINE, a national prostate cancer education and awareness campaign, is teaming up with the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA), the organization that represents and supports African American collegiate basketball and football coaches, to encourage African American men to not only learn the risk factors of prostate cancer, but also how to communicate with loved ones and physicians about their health.

ON THE LINE and the BCA have proclaimed the week of February 18th - 26th as "Statement Week." During Statement Week, nearly 100 African American NCAA Division 1 men's basketball coaches will show their support and raise awareness of prostate cancer by wearing a bow tie and an ON THE LINE button during their games. Partnering with such an impressive and extensive team of coaches will create an unprecedented level of prostate cancer awareness across America not only in the NCAA arenas, but in the homes of the millions of Americans that will be tuning in to watch their favorite teams on television. "Statement Week" is also being supported by The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), the Big 10, the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the Big 12 and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).  Each conference and many of the participating schools will also spotlight "Statement Week" online to create further awareness.

About ON THE LINE:
ON THE LINE harnesses the power of sports and celebrities to raise awareness that one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime and challenges men to take charge of their health. ON THE LINE strives to empower men and their loved ones by providing the resources needed for them to take charge of their health at all stages of the journey, from understanding the risk factors to diagnosis and treatment. The ON THE LINE campaign draws on the expertise of an independent panel of prostate cancer physicians from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the world's leading professional organization representing doctors who care for people with cancer. ASCO's expert panel provided the core clinical prostate cancer information, which serves as the basis for the campaign content. ON THE LINE has also enlisted teammates ZERO -- The Project to End Prostate Cancer, Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network, Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC), and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) to serve as local and community resources and networks. To learn more, visit www.ontheline.com.