Gophers Get Big Road Win at Michigan

The Gopher men's basketball team (15-6, 5-3) got perhaps their biggest win of the season as they shot 63% from the field (27-43) in a 71-54 road win over Michigan (12-10, 3-5) at Crisler Arena. Minnesota improved to 3-2 in the road games this season, and 2-2 in Big Ten road contests.

Jeff Hagen led the Gophers with 15 points, nine rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals. The five assists tied a career high, while the three steals were a new career high for Hagen. Hagen made all five shots from the field and was five of six from the line.

Minnesota also had three other players score in double figures as Vincent Grier, Aaron Robinson and Dan Coleman had 14, 13 and 11 points respectively. Grier also added six rebounds and four assists, while Robinson recorded his ninth game this season with three or more 3-pointers. Brent Lawson also had four steals on the night.

The Golden Gophers' 63 percent shooting night was their best performance from the field in Big Ten play this season. Minnesota also had 12 steals on the night, and forced 24 turnovers by Michigan.

Minnesota took the game right to Michigan early in the first half. With the score tied at 10 with 15:42 remaining in the first half, Minnesota went on a 12-2 run to move ahead 22-12 at the 11:18 mark in the game.

Coleman broke the early tie with a 3-pointer to put Minnesota ahead 13-10. Rico Tucker and Grier drilled back-to-back jumpers to push the lead to 17-10. Michigan hit a pair of free throws to cut it to 17-12, but Tucker came back with a breakaway dunk off a Wolverine turnover and Robinson hit a 3-pointer to finish the Minnesota run.

Michigan's Chris Hunter dunked home the Wolverines' first field goal in nearly five minutes to cut the lead to 22-14. Hagen answered back with a dunk of his own to push the lead back out to 24-14. Michigan went on a 7-0 run, paced by five points by John Andrews, to cut the lead to 24-21 with 6:48 remaining in the first half.

Minnesota responded with an 8-2 run to push the lead back out to 32-23 with 3:42 remaining. With the score at 29-23, Robinson hit his second 3-pointer of the half to push the lead out to nine points. Michigan trimmed the lead to 34-27, but Minnesota closed the half with the final four points to open up its largest lead of the half at 38-27. The Golden Gophers led 36-27 when Lawson scored on a put-back with three seconds remaining in the half to give Minnesota the 38-27 lead heading to halftime.

The Golden Gophers shot 70% in the first half, going 16-for-23 from the field. Minnesota also held Michigan to a 36 percent shooting (8-for-22) in the first half. The Golden Gophers had 20 points in the paint to just six for the Wolverines in the half.

Minnesota carried its positive momentum into the second half, as it started with a 7-2 run to push the lead to 45-29 with 17:24 remaining in the game. With the score at 42-29, Lawson hit a 3-pointer to give Minnesota the 16-point lead. The Golden Gophers matched that lead at 47-31 with 15:13 remaining in the game.

Michigan cut the lead to single digits for the first time in the second half with a 7-0 run to make it 49-40 with 9:14 remaining. The Golden Gophers quickly answered with a Coleman jumper and a Grier layup to push the lead out to 53-40. The Wolverines got the deficit back down to 57-47, but Minnesota broke the game open with a 14-2 run to take its largest lead of the game at 71-49 with 2:36 remaining.

Minnesota returns home to take on #19 Wisconsin on Saturday at 11 a.m. That game will be telecast on ESPN2.

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