2:30 p.m. vs. Illinois • Williams Arena • Ch. 9 • (100.3 FM)
Illini on six-game win streak
Preview: The Gophers (13-9, 6-9 Big Ten) have been nearly unbeatable at the Barn, with a 13-1 record. The atmosphere isn't there with little to no fans, but a home court advantage remains. Fifth-ranked Illinois (15-5, 11-3) is trying to become the only team besides Maryland to win on Minnesota's court since last season. The Illini are tied with Ohio State for the longest current win streak in the Big Ten at six games. But it has included some close calls, including four wins by single digits. Junior guard Ayo Dosunmu has looked the part of a Big Ten player of the year candidate. He had a triple-double (21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists) vs. Wisconsin, 31 points in an overtime win at Nebraska, and he hit two clutch three-pointers late in a win vs. Northwestern at home. But Dosunmu had just 10 points on 5-for-14 shooting and four turnovers in Illinois' 27-point home win Dec. 15 vs. the Gophers on Dec. 15.
Players to watch: Gophers guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored 33 points over the past two games, the most for a U freshman since the 2018-19 season. Following his 14 points vs. Maryland last week, Mashburn set another career high with 19 points in Wednesday's 82-72 loss at Indiana. Illinois sophomore Kofi Cockburn dominated the Gophers with a career-best 33 points and 13 rebounds in their last meeting. The 7-foot, 280-pound Cockburn has been nearly unstoppable in the post; his 14 double-doubles lead the conference.
Numbers: Illinois has one of the Big Ten's top offenses. It is second in points per game (78.4), first in field goal percentage (48.7) and third in three-point percentage (36.8) in league games.