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Minnesota 81 PSU 71: Five Things to Know

Minnesota earned their tenth win of the Big Ten season defeating an improved Penn State squad 81-71. The Gophers are 22-7 on the year. Here is your Five Things to Know from today’s victory.

One.  Reggie! Reggie! ReggieI

That’s all you could hear all game long as Lynch blocked or contested just about every shot near the rim that Penn State attempted.  He finished with 11 blocks giving him the all time record for single season swats.  Reggie came into the game with 84 and his 11 gave him 95 smashing the record of 87 from Randy Breuer during the 1982-83 season. 

Lynch’s 11 blocks moved him past Joel Pryzbilla’s ten blocks in a game giving Lynch the second best total all time behind Mychal Thompson’s 12 in a game set in 1976.  Many at Williams Arena felt that Lynch should have had a 12th block tying the all time single game mark but the official stat keeper didn’t give it to him.

Reggie also played 29 minutes without a foul and scored four times for his nine points.

Two. Murphy and Mason Overshadowed.

Nate Mason scored 16 points (hit four treys), grabbed a career high ten rebounds, and dished out eight assists.  He was two assists from a triple double against only three turnovers in 33 minutes played.  Mason shot his regular 40 percent for the game making 6 of 15 looks.

Jordan Murphy grabbed 16 rebounds giving him 153 rebounds in 16 Big Ten games.  That is seven boards away from averaging ten a game in Big Ten play.  Jordan scored 16 points on 4 of 6 field goal shooting (Dunks) plus made 8 of 10 free throws which was one of his best days ever from the foul line.

Both players are now in consideration for All Big Ten honors. 

Three. Dupree.  Three is Dupree!

The baseline dunk going by one guy and through two more for an explosive finish was the major highlight.  A definite dunk of the year candidate along with several from Murphy, Lynch, and Amir Coffey.  But it was more than that as Dupree McBrayer is playing with high confidence.

With feet set Dupree is catching and making relaxed shots.  His pull-up jumper off a hard attack has been completed at a high percentage all year long.  His floater has also been a consistent weapon for him.  McBrayer scored 15 points including six foul shot makes as his confidence grows every game.

Four.  Balance on Both Ends.

Gopher fans are getting greedy so they were frustrated Tony Carr (20 points) and the Penn State youth hanging around as long as they did.  That said Minnesota is winning these games with balanced offensive efforts and excellent team defense the other way.

Penn State is the latest team to shoot in the 30th percentile area against Minnesota.  Part of that was Lynch denying everything but the Gophers hotly contested most of Penn State’s seven three-point makes (out of 21 attempts).   The Gophers continue to improve defending screens and they won the rebounding battle 49-40.

On the other end the scoring was balanced again. Mason and Murphy had the 16, McBrayer 15, Akeem Springs a dozen on 5 of 13 shooting, and Lynch and Amir Coffey each scored nine.  When you look at the team stats for the year you see five Gophers averaging in double figures led by Mason (15.1 points per game) and followed by Coffey (12.1), Murphy (10.8), McBrayer (10.7), and Springs (10.1).  It’s all about balance.

Five. Alumni Day!

The name that really seemed to excite the Gopher fans was seeing Vincent Grier here once again.  Vince got a big ovation as does Blake Hoffarber all the time.  Also at the alumni day being announced to the crowd was Trent Tucker, Randy Breuer, Trevor Winter, Damien Johnson, Lawrence McKenzie, Randy Carter, Quincy Lewis, Ariel McDonald, Aaron Robinson, Charles Sims (who had his Texas bound sound Jericho Sims with him watching in the stands), Barry Wohler, Spencer Tollackson, and Jamal Abu-Shamala who is always first announced.

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