Minnesota Ends Skid, Tops Nebraska 81-69

MINNEAPOLIS — The Golden Gophers ended a six-game Big Ten conference losing streak on Saturday when they beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers 81-69 at Williams Arena.

Player of the game: Sophomore Chip Armelin provided a spark off the bench for Minnesota, scoring a career-high 20 points while added seven rebounds and two steals.

"Chip had a really good game," Ralph Sampson said. "He had a great time out there shooting tonight—he was feeling it. He came out and carried us when we needed to and got the buckets when we needed to too."

Stat of the game: The Golden Gophers had a season-high 23 assists including six from Andre Hollins and five from Austin Hollins.

"Assists," Tubby Smith said succinctly when asked what was the most satisfying aspect of the win. "That's just the greatest thing you can do. Not just assists for baskets but I thought they were assisting each other defensively but especially assists."

What did we learn: The Gophers will be a tough out in the Big Ten Tournament if they can build off Saturday's performance when five Gopher players scored more than 10 points and they set a season record for assists as a team. Minnesota desperately needed a win after dropping six straight to conference foes, and they got it. The Gophers have regained some confidence and momentum heading into their opening-round match up against Northwestern in the conference tournament.

"I think like this was definitely one of our biggest games," Rodney Williams said after the game, "because going into the Big Ten Tourney is like a whole new season. If you can go in there with confidence anything can happen."

Quote to note: "It's always a treat and a thrill to coach guys who do the things you ask them to do." Tubby Smith on senior Ralph Sampson.

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