7:30 p.m. vs. Rutgers • Williams Arena • BTN, 1500-AM
Preview: Minnesota (7-19; 1-13): The Gophers broke a historic 14-game losing streak with an upset of No. 6 Maryland, 68-63 at home Thursday. Minnesota shot 87 percent from the free-throw line, its best in league play and second-best overall. The Gophers have shot 73 percent or better from the foul stripe in the past four games after managing less than 59 percent in the previous three games. ... Last game was the Gophers’ first since senior guard Carlos Morris was dismissed last week, and freshman guard Kevin Dorsey was the biggestbeneficiary, matching a career-high 29 minutes. ... After losing the rebound battle by five or more boards in eight of their first 10 conference games, the Gophers have tied once, won twice and fallen short by a single rebound once in the past four. ... Point guard Nate Mason has finished with 18 points or more in five of the past eight games. ... Minnesota has played Rutgers two times since the Scarlet Knights joined the Big Ten last season, winning twice by a total of 21 points.
Rutgers (6-21; 0-14): The Scarlet Knights are down to seven scholarship players as they head to Minneapolis this week, straight off a 70-58 crushing loss to Penn State at home in which they fell behind 23-8 with seven minutes left in the first half. After the Gophers’ win over Maryland on Thursday, Rutgers is alone in last place in the Big Ten, winless through 14 games. Point guard Corey Sanders, who leads all Big Ten freshmen in scoring with 16.2 points a game and is the team’s leading scorer, was suspended for four games Feb. 15 for violating team rules. Sanders, who was averaging 23 points in his past three games, has two games of his suspension remaining. ... Rutgers has lost 29 conference games in a row dating to last season.