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Gophers' Murphy earns sixth career Big Ten player of the week honor

With the final games of his senior year winding down, Jordan Murphy made sure to get the Gophers turned back around with his performance Saturday vs. Indiana.

Murphy’s 23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists helped Minnesota snap a four-game losing streak with an 84-63 win against the Hoosiers. The 6-foot-7 forward from San Antonio also had 19 points, 13 rebounds and three assists in a 62-61 loss Wednesday at Nebraska.

 

His two strong efforts led to a school-record sixth career Big Ten player of the week honor Monday.

“I just think physically, I don’t think I’ve seen a guy that strong,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said, “just be able to hold ground and do what he wants to do without losing balance. He’s done that for I don’t know how many years now.”

Murphy ranks second in the nation in double-doubles (18) and fourth in rebounds per game (11.9) this season, which includes eight double-doubles in his last nine games.

The Gophers (17-9, 7-8), who play host to No. 7 Michigan (23-3, 12-3) on Thursday, could use another dominant performance in the paint from their captain this week to boost their chances at an NCAA tournament bid.

Gophers junior guard Amir Coffey leads the team in scoring (15.3), but he said the team can rely on Murphy to be their go-to guy.

“He’s just a good guy and a great teammate,” Coffey told BTN Live on Monday. “He’s really a beast out there on the floor. It’s hard to guard him. Most teams try to double him, so myself, Dupree (McBrayer), Gabe (Kalscheur) and other players, it gets us open. Just going to him for a bucket or things like that you can always count on him.”

Gophers' Isaiah Washington out with injury, Eric Curry returns Saturday vs. Indiana

Gophers sophomore point guard Isaiah Washington is sidelined for Saturday’s game vs. Indiana with a tailbone injury.

Washington tried to warm up with his teammates a couple hours before the game, but he was ruled out.

The 6-foot-1 New York native averages 4.7 points and a team-best 3.2 assists this season in 17.2 minutes off the bench, but Washington’s production has been reduced in conference play.

In the 61-62 loss Wednesday at Nebraska, Washington was limited to just two minutes. He played a combined 27 minutes and had four points on 2-for-9 shooting in losses to Wisconsin and Michigan State.

After missing two games with a calf soreness, redshirt sophomore big man Eric Curry will play Saturday against Indiana. Curry, who averaged 4.5 points and 3.2 rebounds, started five games at center before his injury.