Richard Pitino watches his team

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Gopher men fall at Ohio State in Big Ten hoops opener

Buckeyes out-muscle the Gophers in 79-59 win

December 03, 2018 - 5:02 am

   COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - The Golden Gophers found out that they need to get more physical if they are to win games in the Big Ten.

   Ohio State's Andre Wesson scored 16 points, Kaleb Wesson had 15, and the No. 16 Buckeyes beat Minnesota 79-59 on Sunday night in the conference opener for both teams.

   Cold shooting and bad rebounding put Minnesota in a big early hole. The Gophers failed to grab an offensive rebound in the first 10 minutes of the game.

   "If you are not going to bring good physical basketball, you are not going to win in this league," Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. "(Ohio State is) really good at simple good basketball.

   "They are really physical - tough and physical. And they impose it on you."

   Amir Coffey led Minnesota (6-2) with 19 points, and Dupree McBrayer added 13.

   C.J. Jackson and Musa Jallow each added 11 points, and Duane Washington Jr., and Kyle Young had 10 apiece to help the Buckeyes improve to 7-1.

   "I'm proud of our guys' effort tonight against a really good Minnesota team," Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said. "I do think we benefited from the fact that they probably had some tired legs from Friday night. But take nothing away from our guys' approach. Our defense set the tone."


   Ohio State dominated every aspect from scoring to rebounding, and overwhelmed its Big Ten rival from the start. Minnesota struggled to find the basket up close and at a distance, and never challenged.


   Minnesota senior forward Jordan Murphy is just one point away from 1,400 points to go with 1,000 rebounds in his career, which would make him the 11th player in Big Ten history to that milestone.


   Minnesota hosts Nebraska on Wednesday night in their final Big Ten game before the holiday break.