Dan Coleman and Blake Hoffarber combined to score 43 points to lead Minnesota to a convincing 91-74 victory over Colorado State this evening at Williams Arena. The Gophers shot 54 percent from the floor improved to 6-1 for the first since 2002-03.
Coleman had an outstanding overall game, scoring 22 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go with 11 rebounds to rack up his sixth career double-double. Coleman also scored his 1,000th career point in the second half, becoming the 34th player in school history to join the elite club.
Hoffarber drained six three-pointers and scored 21 points to go with four assists. Spencer Tollackson added 16 points and five assists while Al Nolen scored 11 points and dished five assists. Damian Johnson also scored in double figures with 10. Minnesota forced 17 Ram turnovers and blocked five shots.
The Gophers bolted to a large halftime lead on the strength of Hoffarber’s three-point shooting. The freshman made 5-of-7 treys in the first half and scored 18 points. Leading 13-9, Hoffarber ignited a 9-0 Gopher run with his first three-pointer at the 13:47 mark. Jon Williams also added a fastbreak dunk after picking off a Marcus Walker pass at center court. The Rams trimmed the Gopher lead to seven on a Walker trey with 10:09 left but the Gophers immediately responded with a 9-0 lead to push their lead back to 31-15 with 8:23 remaining. Hoffarber again carried the run with back-to-back triples. A Spencer Tollackson free throw with 5:18 left made the Minnesota lead 19 at 36-17 and although Colorado State trimmed the deficit to 14, the Gophers ended the half on a 9-1 run to lead 50-27 at the break.
Minnesota kept its foot on the gas to start the second half, going on a 10-2 run capped by a Lawrence McKenzie three-pointer with 17:11 left and the Gophers led 60-31. A Nolen three-pointer and a Coleman tip-in with 12:46 left gave the Gophers a game-high 72-40 lead. Colorado State was able to trim Minnesota's lead to 14 with just over a minute left in the game and Nolen added a trey with 1:13 left to make the final score 91-74.
Willis Gardner led three Rams in double figures with 19 while Marcus Walker added 18.
Minnesota returns to action on Wednesday evening when it faces South Dakota State at 8 p.m. The game will be shown live on the Big Ten Network.