Golden Gopher Team Notes
Minnesota’s starting lineup consisted of senior Lawrence McKenzie, sophomore guard Lawrence Westbrook, junior forward Jamal Abu-Shamala, senior forward Dan Coleman and senior center Spencer Tollackson... Tonight’s game marked the third time this season and the third time in the last four games that head coach Tubby Smith has used this opening lineup... With tonight’s win over North Dakota State, the Gophers improved to 3-0 with this starting lineup.
Tonight’s game marked McKenzie’s 59th career start, while Westbrook’s made just the seventh of his career... In the front-court, Abu-Shamala collected his 34th career start, Coleman made the 70th of his career and Tollackson notched his 39th start as a Gopher.
Tonight’s attendance of 12,454 was a season high and the largest crowd to watch the Gophers play at Williams Arena since 13,026 witnessed last season’s Minnesota-Ohio State game on Feb. 18.
Minnesota’s 88-56 victory tonight improved the Golden Gophers to 5-1 on the season... It is the Gophers’ best record through six games since Minnesota opened with the same record in during the 2002-03 season... Last year, the Gophers struggled to a 2-4 mark through six games.
Tonight’s Gopher victory improved Minnesota to 23-2 all time vs. North Dakota State, including a forfeit loss in the 1976 game... Since then the Gophers have now rattled off six straight victories over the Bison, including wins in each of the last three seasons.
Minnesota led 44-27 at intermission and has now led at the break in five of six games... The Gophers are now 5-0 when leading at halftime... Minnesota’s 17-point halftime lead marked the second straight game and the third time in four home games that the Gophers have lead by double digits at the break.
Minnesota outrebounded North Dakota State, 44-33, and have now out rebounded five of six opponents this season... Minnesota’s is now outrebounding its foes by an average of 8.2 per game.
Minnesota’s 88 points and 53 percent shooting from the floor were both season highs for the Gophers... Minnesota also connected on a season-best 36 field goals... The Gophers have now hit the 80-point mark twice in six games this season... Last year Minnesota scored 80 points or more just twice for the entire year... The Gophers 88 points were also the most scored by a Minnesota team since defeating Grambling, 88-64, on Dec. 21, 2005.
For the third time this season every player that dressed for the Gophers scored... Minnesota also achieved this feat vs. Army and Central Michigan.
This was Minnesota's third 30+ point victory of the season.
Tonight’s 32-point loss was the Bison’s biggest since falling at Manhattan, 89-47, on Jan. 5, 2005.
Minnesota held North Dakota State to a season-low 56 points on a season-worst 33.3 percent shooting... The Gophers have now allowed just one opponent to reach the 60-point plateau this season... Foes are shooting just 37 percent (117 of 316) vs. Minnesota this year.
The Bison entered the game shooting 43.2 percent from 3-point range, with an average of over seven treys per game but were held to just five tonight on 23 attempts (21.7 percent).
Minnesota swatted a season-high seven shots and equaled its season-best with 14 steals.
Golden Gopher Player Notes
Al Nowlen scored a season-high 15 points and tied for team-high scoring honors with Dan Coleman, who also tallied 15 points... Nolen also snatched five steels for the second time this season... The freshman has now logged at least three steals in four of six games this season.
Coleman now has 986 points for his career, 14 shy of becoming the 34th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points... His eight rebounds were one off a season high, while his 15 points marked the 51st double-figure scoring game of his career... Coleman also collected multiple blocks for the third time this season and the 24th time in his career and came within one assist of tying his career-best after dishing out a season-best four tonight.
Jonathan Williams’ eight points equaled a season high.
Lawrence Westbrook tied his career-scoring high for the third time this season with 11 points... It is the third time in the last four games that the sophomore has finished with 11 points.