Minneapolis -- Minnesota had no trouble snapping its three-game skid this afternoon, running past Brown University for an impressive 91-55 win at Williams Arena.
The Golden Gophers (5-3), who fell out of the Top 25 following their recent skid, played more like the team that was ranked as high as 16th earlier this season. Minnesota took charge from the start and overwhelmed the visiting Bears (4-6) of the Ivy League by running to a 47-10 lead with 3:21 left before the half. The Gophers never looked back, as six players reached double figures, and 10 of 11 players who saw action in the game were able to score points. It marked the first time that Minnesota had six players score in double figures since Feb. 1, 2008.
Blake Hoffarber led Minnesota in scoring and rebounding, recording his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 boards for the Maroon and Gold. Hoffarber was in the starting lineup for the second time this season, and made 5-of-7 field goals, including 3-of-5 from three-point range.
Damian Johnson added 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, while adding four rebounds, four blocks, and two assists, and Lawrence Westbrook also scored 12 for Minnesota. Ralph Sampson III finished with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and a pair of blocked shots, while Devoe Joseph came off the bench to tally 11 points and dish out a career-best six assists. Al Nolen rounded out Minnesota's double-figure scorers, with 10 points to go along with five steals and four assists.
After leading 19-6 at the second media timeout of the first half, Minnesota went on a 28-4 run over the next 8:02 to stretch the lead to 47-10. The Gophers also held the Bears without a field goal for a stretch of 7:08 (18:43 to 11:35) of the opening stanza, forcing eight turnovers and holding Brown to just 5-of-24 (.208) field goals in the opening 20 minutes of play to build a 51-20 lead at the break.
Minnesota shot 63.6 percent (21-of-33) in the first half, including 6-of-11 (.545) from three-point range. For the game, the Gophers made 36-of-67 (.537) attempts from the field, including 10-of-23 (.441) treys, and 9-of-13 (.692) free throws. Minnesota also held a 42-to-29 rebound advantage, including 14 on the offensive end of the floor, while also recording 10 blocks, nine steals, and just seven turnovers in the win.
Brown, which is in the midst of playing 11 games in 22 days, was led by 10 points each by Andrew McCarthy and Steve Gruber, with both players coming off the bench. Matt Mullery, who led the Bears with an average of 17.2 points per game entering the contest, was limited by the Gophers' defense to just seven points on 2-of-9 shooting.
The Golden Gophers, who are home for the rest of December, now look forward to a Tuesday night matchup versus Morgan State. That game will be televised live on ESPN U, and is set for a 6:00 p.m. (CST) tipoff from The Barn.