Gophers defeat Purdue to improve to 2-0 in Big Ten

The Minnesota Gophers won their 10th straight game and improved 2-0 in the Big Ten with a 63-52 victory over Purdue. The 2-0 start in conference play is the first in nine years at Williams Arena. The Gophers improved to 12-3 this season, matching last season's win total.

The victory over Purdue marked the last appearance of long-time Boilermaker head coach Gene Keady at Williams Arena. Purdue fell to 4-9 overall and 0-3 in the Big Ten.

The Gophers were led by junior forward J'son Stamper, who turned in the Gophers' first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Vincent Grier led the Gophers in scoring for the eighth time this season with 14 points. He made 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Robinson added 12 points while Spencer Tollackson had eight points off the bench. He picked up the slack for Jeff Hagen, who was injured early in the second half, sliding off the floor.

Trailing 8-4 with 13:50 on the clock, the Gophers went on an 18-3 run to take a 22-11 lead. The Gophers forced 10 Boilermaker turnovers and Rico Tucker had three steals during the stretch. A Brent Lawson cutting layup with 3:47 on the clock capped the run. Purdue went six and a half minutes without a field goal.

Purdue's Gary Ware ended the run with a 15-foot jumper with 3:29 left in the half. The Gophers rebuilt an 11-point lead on a J'son Stamper jumper with 1:35 left but David Teague answered with a three on the other end to make the score 26-18. After the teams traded free throws, Brandon McKnight hit a 12-foot jumper at the buzzer to trim Minnesota's halftime lead to 28-22. The Gophers forced 15 Purdue turnovers in the half and turned them into 19 points but shot just 39 percent from the field (10-26).

After Minnesota led 28-22 at the intermission, David Teague scored to cut the Gopher lead to four. Minnesota scored the next seven points, capped by a Dan Coleman put back of a Brent Lawson three- point miss to give the Gophers another 11-point lead at 35-24.

After Hagen cut open his chin sliding off the floor and went to the locker room, Purdue took advantage with an 8-1 run to close within four points at 36-32 with 14:24 on the clock. The Gophers would have to go the rest of the way without Hagen but Stamper picked up the slack. He had eight offensive rebounds and kept the offense alive. Minnesota's lead ballooned back to eight at 40-32, but Purdue didn't quit. It pulled back within five twice, but the Gophers extended their lead to nine at 51-42 with 5:20 left in the game. An Aaron Robinson slicing layup with 1:37 left put the Gophers up 57-47 to ice the game. The Gophers made four free throws down the stretch.

David Teague led Purdue with 15 points while Carl Landry and Brandon McKnight had 12 apiece.

Minnesota plays its first Big Ten road game of the year on Saturday afternoon at Iowa at 1:30.

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