Minnesota Basketball News: Gophers Back in Action Thursday vs. Ohio State for the 149th time in Series

By Danielle Daniels

2 22 2024





149th Meeting (55-93 all time)
Minnesota home vs. Ohio State: 37-33
Gophers All-Time vs. Big Ten: 794-907
* – excludes vacated games

• The Minnesota men’s basketball team is back at Williams Arena for its second-straight conference game, hosting Ohio State on Thursday at 7 p.m. The game is televised on BTN and broadcast on KFAN 100.3 FM. It marks the second meeting between the two teams this season as the Gophers and Buckeyes opened Big Ten play against each other on Dec. 3. Minnesota is 37-33 all-time against Ohio State on its home court since 1904.
• Ohio State opened Big Ten play with an 84-74 win over the Gophers on Dec. 3. Ohio State built a 22-point lead and fought off a Gopher comeback effort for its seventh win. Dawson Garcia led all players with a career-high 36 points and added 11 rebounds, helping Minnesota cut Ohio State’s 22-point lead to six points with 3:24 remaining. Cam Christie made 5-of-8 field goals to finish with 11 points. Since the two team’s meeting, Minnesota has gone 11-6 (7-6 in B1G), while OSU has gone 8-10 overall (4-10 in B1G).
• Minnesota is coming off an 81-70 win over Rutgers Sunday. All five Gopher starters reached double-figures, led by Pharrel Payne’s career-high 21 points and game-high 11 rebounds at Williams Arena. Payne reached his 300-rebound mark and now sits at 301 in 53 games. Minnesota snapped a four-game winning streak for the Scarlet Knights, who fell to 6-8 in Big Ten play.
• The Gophers shot 50 percent from the field in the Rutgers win. It marked the eighth time the Gophers shot over 50 percent in a game this season and the second time in Big Ten play. The Gophers’ best Big Ten FG display came at Penn State, where Minnesota scored 28 field goals in 52 attempts for 53.8 percent. Minnesota scored over 80 points in Sunday’s game, the ninth time that has happened this season. Minnesota was held to under 80 points all last season.
• Cam Christie has six straight double-digit games heading into the Ohio State game on Thursday. Last week, the rookie posted 13 with three treys at Purdue and 10 against Rutgers with five assists. The true freshman averages 11.3 ppg and ranks second on the team in scoring. He ranks second on the team in three-pointers (52), trailing Mike Mitchell Jr. by one (53). Christie averages 28.5 minutes, shooting 45 from the field and 42.3 percent from beyond the arc.

•  Minnesota is on the road at Nebraska Sunday at 5:30 p.m. on Big Ten Network.
•  Mike Grimm and Al Nolen will provide the radio broadcast on KFAN 100.3 FM.

• All five starters reached double-figures, led by Pharrel Payne’s career-high 21 points and game-high 11 rebounds, and Minnesota built as much as a 17-point lead as Minnesota defeated Rutgers, 81-70, at Williams Arena. Elijah Hawkins finished with 16 points, seven assists, and six rebounds, and Dawson Garcia had 14 points and eight boards to help the Gophers snap a four-game winning streak for the Scarlet Knights.
• Minnesota had advantages in rebounding (37-33), fast break points (18-11), blocks (8-5), and assists (20-16). Minnesota held Rutgers to just 8-of-32 (.250) field goals in the second half, including just 1-of-13 (.077) from three-point range. For the game, Rutgers was 24-of-62 (.387) overall, including 4-of-19 (.211) from long-range.

• Ohio State is 15-11 overall and 5-10 in Big Ten play this season. The Buckeyes parted ways with coach Chris Holtmann after seven years at the helm last week. Interim coach Jake Diebler took over and the Buckeyes defeated then-No. 2 Purdue last week, 73-69. The Buckeyes’ other Big Ten wins come against Rutgers, Maryland and Penn State.
• Bruce Thornton leads the team averaging 16.1 points, followed by Battle with 13.9 ppg. Thornton has 109 assists and 32 steals and ranks fifth nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 3.76. Roddy Gayle Jr. rounds out the top three with 13.8 ppg. Felix Okpara has a team-best 60 blocks and 6.4 rebounds.
•  As a team, OSU averages 74.4 points and allows 69.7 points. The Buckeyes are shooting 44.6 percent and 33.9 from three-point range. They average 36.4 rebounds and shoot 76.5 percent from the charity stripe.