Monday, February 23, 2009

Northwestern Review

It is good to be home. One watching the game on Sunday can not believe that was the same Northwestern team that beat us this year. They did not even appear to be a Division I opponent. They never got anything going offensively and while the Gophers still struggled at times in the half court they cruised to their largest win of the season by 27 points. This team is night and day when playing at home versus on the road. They make shots and play much harder on defense forcing turnovers.

This game did not have a standout player of the game as everyone played well and contributed from Bostick scoring 9 to Busch, Iverson and Hoffarber getting 7. The player of the game is then by default the leading scorer in Lawrence Westbrook. He lead the team with 17 points and went 6-10.

This was a game that we needed to stay alive but it didn't help our chances that much. What did help us the most on Sunday is that Michigan lost to Iowa. They are now 7-8 in the Big Ten and still have to face us, Purdue and Wisconsin. There season is over. The Big Ten is down to 7 possible teams and it also helps because when Michigan shows up for the final game they won't have anything to play for and could just roll over for us.

Next up is the final road game at Illinois. It is a daunting task to go in there and win. It is good news that a win there is not required but if we do somehow win at Illinois we are almost assured a spot in the NCAA's.

It should also be mentioned that the win against Northwestern gave us 20 wins on the season. We now have won back to back years of 20 wins and Tubby has coached 16 straight 20 win seasons. The Minnesota program only has 11 20 win seasons in its entire history and 4 of those are wiped out due to sanctions.

Stats of the Game
  • 9: Points scored by Devron Bostick in 16 minutes. He had scored only 4 points in 62 minutes in the last 9 games.
  • 56.14: Big Ten oppponent's scoring average at Williams Arena this year. Big Ten foes average 67.75 ppg when the Gophers are on the road. That is a huge difference. If you take out the Purdue and MSU home losses opponents are scoring only 50.6 ppg.
  • 29-13: Tubby Smith's record in the NCAA's. For all those who think if we make the tournament we will be one and done. Tubby Smith has lost in the 1st round only once and that was in 1996-1997 with Georgia.

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