9 p.m. vs. Oklahoma State • U.S. Bank Stadium • BTN; 100.3 FM
Cowboys coming off a successful weekend
Preview: The Gophers (5-1) are coming off their worst performance of the season Monday, falling 68-56 at Boston College after shooting 29.2 percent from the field. Oklahoma State (4-2) beat then-No. 19 LSU 90-77 Sunday to finish third in the Advocare Invitational in Florida over the weekend. The Cowboys, who beat the Gophers 62-60 in Sioux Falls, S.D., in 2015, were predicted to finish last in the Big 12 in the preseason poll after losing five players from a 21-victory team that upset Kansas twice last season. Coach Mike Boynton was an assistant of current Illinois coach Brad Underwood at Stephen F. Austin and Oklahoma State from 2013 to ’17.
Players to watch: Gophers G Amir Coffey, who is averaging 14.0 points and 3.0 assists per game, left Monday’s loss in the second half because of a sore left leg. Coffey returned, but was limping before finishing with 12 points on 4-for-11 shooting in 35 minutes. Oklahoma State F Cameron McGriff scored a career-best 28 points on 10-for-15 shooting against LSU. McGriff’s scoring average improved from 8.4 to 17.2 points per game from last season to this year through six games.
Numbers: Oklahoma State can shoot. Junior guards Lindy Waters (19-for-19 on free throws) and Thomas Dziagwa (22-for-37 on three-pointers) lead the Big 12 in free-throw shooting and three-point shooting, respectively.
Other games: A Division III game between St. Thomas and Wisconsin-River Falls precedes the Gophers. Saturday features four D-I teams from neighboring states: North Dakota State vs. Drake and South Dakota State vs. Northern Iowa.