Minnesota (8-1) 68, Santa Clara (7-5) 50
December 22, 2007 Williams Arena Minneapolis, Minn.
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 Santa Clara, the Gophers improved to 6-0 with this starting lineup.
Tonight’s game marked McKenzie’s 62nd career start, while Westbrook’s made his 11th career start and his ninth of the 2007-08 season... In the front-court, Abu-Shamala collected his 37th career start, Coleman made the 73rd start of his career and Tollackson notched his 42nd start as a Gopher.
Tonight’s attendance of 12,548 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 68-50 victory tonight improved the Golden Gophers to 8-1 on the season... The Gophers are now just one victory shy of equaling their win total for the entire 2006-07 season... At 8-1, Minnesota is off to its best start through nine games since the Gophers opened with the same record in during the 2000-01 season... The 2000-01 team went on to win 12 of its first 13 before suffering its second loss of the seasons... Last year, the Gophers struggled to a 3-6 mark through nine games.
Tonight’s Gopher victory improved Minnesota to 3-0 all time vs. Santa Clara and 5-2 against the West Coast Conference... This evening’s win was the 395th for head coach Tubby Smith, who improved to 3-0 all-time vs. the WCC and 2-0 against Santa Clara.
Minnesota led 32-21 at intermission and has now led at the break in 8 of 9 eight games... The Gophers are now 9-0 when leading at halftime... Minnesota’s 11-point halftime lead marked the third time in four home games that the Gophers have lead by double digits at the break.
Minnesota’s five dunks were a season high... Dan Colman led the way with a season-best four.
Santa Clara’s 50 points were its second fewest of the season... The Gophers have now held six of nine opponents to less than 60 points this year... The Broncos’ 18-point losing margin was also its second largest of the year... SCU lost at Stanford earlier this week, 74-48.
The Broncos’ 26 turnovers were the most by a Minnesota opponent this season... Minnesota, by contrast, committed a season-low eight miscues... The Gophers’ previous season-low was 10 in the season opener vs. Army.
Minnesota’s 18-point victory was its sixth of the season by 15 points or more.
The technical foul called on Minnesota senior Spencer Tollackson with 5:08 remaining in the game was the first whistled against the Gophers this year.
Golden Gopher Player Notes
Dan Colman’s game-high 20 points marked the third straight-game that the senior has hit the 20-point plateau... Coleman now has 1,052 points for his career, which ranks 30th all time in school history... Coleman also logged a career-high six steals... Coleman also collected multiple blocks for the fifth time this season and the 26th time in his career with three tonight.
Lawrence McKenzie scored in double figures for the sixth time this season... McKenzie also connected on three 3-point baskets and moved into Minnesota’s all-time top 10 for career 3-pointers made with 96... McKenzie is currently tied with Townsend Orr (1991-94) in 10th... McKenzie also equaled his career high for steals in a game tonight with four.
Lawrence Westbrook dished out a career-high five assists and did not commit a turnover in 20 minutes of action tonight.