The University of Minnesota men's basketball team (4-0) overpowered Bethune Cookman (1-3) today at Williams Arena with a 79-52 win. The Gophers got off to a 13-point lead at the 10-minute mark in the first half and never let the lead drop below that point for the entire game.
Minnesota got off to a quick start, outscoring Bethune Cookman 21-8 in the first 10 minutes of the game with M ichael Bauer being the offensive fire with 11 of the 21 points. Bauer finished the half with 13. After a S teve Esselink three-pointer at the 4-minute mark, Minnesota earned their largest lead of the half at 22. Esselink contributed a career second-best of eight points.
In the second half, Minnesota was offensively strong and never let the lead drop under 20 points after the 14:49 point. The Golden Gophers achieved their largest lead, 28, after S tan Gaines made a jumper to bring the score to 60-32. Bethune Cookman completed a 7-2 run at the 5:51 point to bring the score within 21, but were never able to trim the lead beyond that point.
Bauer was the leading scorer for Minnesota finishing the game with 19 points, while J erry Holman and M aurice Hargrow each contributed 15. Leading the way for Bethune Cookman was Richard Toussaint with 13 points. Holman lead Minnesota with a career-high nine rebounds. Ke vin Burleson added eight assists and seven steals. Sophomore Rick Rickert did not play due to the flu.
Next up for Minnesota is Nebraska on Sunday, December 8, at 2 p.m. in Lincoln, Neb.
o Minnesota is 34-8 in non-conference games under Dan Monson. The Gophers are 28-3 in home non-conference action under Monson...Minnesota is 4-0 all-time against Bethune Cookman...Minnesota opened the game on a 16-4 run...In four games this season, the Gophers have had four different leading scorers...B rent Lawson and M att Smriga saw their first action in a Golden Gopher uniform...Ke vin Burleson had seven steals which is a new career-high. His previous career-best was six steals at Indiana on Feb. 28, 2001...M ichael Bauer scored in double figures for the third time this season and the 35th time in his career...Bauer set a career-high with 17 field goal attempts...J erry Holman scored in double figures for the second time this season and the 14th time in his career. Minnesota is 12-2 when Holman scores in double figures...Holman recorded a career-high nine rebounds...Moe Hargrow scored in double figures for the fourth straight game this season and the fifth time in his career...Hargrow tied a career-high with eight rebounds...Minnesota's 16 steals are the most since recording 18 against Tulsa on March 9, 2001 in the NIT second round...S teve Esselink's eight points are the second-best of his career...Minnesota posted season-highs in rebounds (45) and steals (16).
Dan Monson ? Head Coach for Minnesota ?You play every play. You don?t play every team. You don?t play the scoreboard. You play every play.?
?We need to be excited for Sunday. We have to go on the road Sunday to find out what we are made of. Playing on the road is tough.?
?Offense is a little behind because we focused on the defense in the beginning of the season. We are either too cautious or to fast. We haven?t found good pace yet. We need to find our tempo.?
Minnesota Forward Michael Bauer ?We took it to them early, got a big lead, but then let up and played too relaxed. After coach got on us a bit we were able to pull ahead and grab the win. This was a good win for this team.?
?These are the type of games that are scary. You are playing a team with nothing to lose, so if you aren?t on your game they could steal it from you. I am glad this team was able to stay focused and not let them back in the game.?
?Staying focused against the weaker opponents is a trait that all championship teams possess. We feel like we are a championship caliber team with high aspirations, so staying focused as we did tonight is a big benefit to this team.?
Minnesota Forward Maurice Hargrow ?We needed this win. We have a tough game coming up on Sunday against a good team, so this was a good warmup. It is going to be tough on the road and it will be important that we rebound and play tough defense. Nebraska is going to crash that boards so we will need to rebound better then we did tonight.?
On his defense on Toussaint: ?From watching film, I saw that you can force him into a lot of bad shots just by staying in front of him. He is their leading scorer, so he looks to score a lot. If you don?t give him easy looks he presses more and starts to force things. I played disciplined and didn?t give him anything easy. I think it showed in the box score?