Archive of basketball articles

Gophers Overcome Utah Challenge
November 12, 2018

Freshman Gabe Kalscheur came through when he was most needed most with four first-half three-point baskets to help Minnesota erase an early Utah lead and put the Gophers ahead to stay en route to a 78-69 clipping of the Runnin’ Utes before 11,554 fans at Williams Arena.

Kalscheur finished as high-point man with 19 and was aided by Gopher double-double machine, senior Jordan Murphy, who had 11 points to go with 17 rebounds despite limited playing time due to early foul trouble.

After the Utes had taken an 18-14 lead, three-pointers by Kalscheur and Junior Amir Coffey put the Gophers in the driver’s seat with a lead the team was never to relinquish. Minnesota lead at halftime by 33-27. Utah star Sedrick Barefield was held to two points in the first half but regained his equilibrium in the second, finishing with 14 points. Coffey’s scoring total amounted to 14.

“We prepared well for Utah’s zone defense,” said head coach Richard Pitino after the game, noting that Minnesota shot 51.8 percent from the field while the Utes were held to 40 percent.

“I put a premium on defense,” he said. “If you’re going to play hard, and you’re willing to defend, you’re going to play for me.”

Minnesota’s biggest lead came near the end of the first half when reserve Michael Hurt scored to give the Gophers a 57-42 advantage. Utah did come to within 62-57 but a pair of Daniel Oturo baskets restored order.

The University of Utah is considered a “fallback” school for Mormons who couldn’t or wouldn’t enter Brigham Young. The school is one of a handful of NCAA colleges unwilling to part with Native American nicknames, regardless of how offensive they may be.

The basketball team at Utah is forecast to finish anywhere from fourth to eighth in the 12-team PAC-12 Conference with at least one publication placing the team into the NCAA Tournament.

Back to Main Page