Another big opponent, another stellar team effort from the Gophers.
In their second game without both Trevor Mbakwe (out for the season with a right ACL tear) and Ralph Sampson III (sore left ankle), the Gophers strung together a solid defensive effort and big contributions from the emerging “stars” : Rodney Williams, Julian Welch and Elliott Eliason.
Some notes from the 55-40 win over USC:
- Williams looked great for a second consecutive game. Saturday, he did everything: he blocked shots, he scored, he rebounded, he had steals, he defended. He looked like a true leader out there.
- Eliason continued to look super aggressive on the boards, grabbing a season-high nine rebounds. The redshirt freshman had four turnovers but most of them came in setting screens and doing other good things that he’s still working on perfecting.
- The Gophers OUTSHOT the Trojans from behind the arc. They hit 6 of 13 attempts, good for 46.2 percent. USC made 3 of 11.
- Austin Hollins – who had some good looks Wednesday but watched a lot of his shots rim out – had three three-pointers and finished with 11 points.
- The Gophers went 9-for-9 from the free-throw line.
- The team had 18 turnovers total, but only six in the second half
“We (did) things that win ballgames for you,” coach Tubby Smith said. “You play solid defense, you play unselfishly, you rebound, you’ll win a lot of games.”
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