Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball v. St. Joseph’s

by Marco LaNave

In search of their third-straight home victory, the Gophers face St. Joseph’s from the Atlantic-10 Conference at Williams Arena on Saturday. The Hawks have lost their last five in a row, including losses to now-No. 5 Purdue and No. 3 Villanova.

Final – Up by more than 20 points, the Gophers had no need to push it, and they allowed St. Joe’s the final 6 points of the game. The Gophers shot 53 percent in the game. Hoffarber was seven of 14 (five of nine from 3-point range) and finished with 20 points. Sampson had a double-double with 16 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. Three other players scored at least 10 points for Minnesota. GOPHERS 97, ST. JOSEPH’S 74.

2:18 2nd – The Gophers are 3 points from their first 100-point game since defeating Oral Roberts exactly six years ago. Minnesota defeated Oral Roberts 100-80 on Dec. 12, 2003. Iverson has been impressive after he was limited by foul trouble for most of the first half and into the second. He now has 11 points and six rebounds. GOPHERS 97, ST. JOSEPH’S 68.

7:35 2nd – The Gophers had 9-0 run snapped by a 2-point layup from St. Joe’s. Sophomore center Colton Iverson responded with a slam on the other end despite being fouled. He’ll have a free throw after the timeout.GOPHERS 79, ST. JOSEPH’S 56.

11:59 2nd – Sampson is showing some moves around the basket, as he just shook around a defender for a layup while he was fouled. He will shoot a free throw out of the timeout but already has 14 points. GOPHERS 67, ST. JOSEPH’S 49.

15:51 2nd – The Gophers aren’t as hot as they were going into the half, but they have responded to a 9-2 run by the Hawks with baskets on their last two possessions. GOPHERS 57, ST. JOSEPH’S 42.

Halftime – The Gophers close the half on an 18-7 run. Hoffarber has made four 3-pointers and has 14 points. Westbrook and Sampson have 10 points each. GOPHERS 48, ST. JOSEPH’S 33.

3:34 1st – Hoffarber makes a 3-point shot to bring the Williams Arena crowd to its feet in appreciation of the Gophers’ 8-0 run. The Hawks haven’t made a field goal in more than five minutes. Minnesota is seven of 14 from 3-point range. GOPHERS 38, ST. JOSEPH’S 26.

7:51 1st – The Gophers’ shooting has been enough, and their defense has started to poke away a few balls for transition opportunities. Five (two each by Hoffarber and Joseph) of the Gophers’ 11 made field goals are from 3-point territory. GOPHERS 27, ST. JOSEPH’S 22.

11:02 1st – The running game continues for both teams. It’s unlikely either team has used much more than half of any shot-clock period (35 seconds) on a single possession. Sophomore guard Devoe Joseph has hit two 3’s and leads Minnesota with 6 points. GOPHERS 20, ST. JOSEPH’S 17.

15:41 1st – It’s been a fast-paced opening stretch. The Gophers are usually the ones scoring in transition, but St. Joe’s has looked like the faster team by a slight margin. Both teams have made a pair of threes. Early signs point to a competitive game for awhile, although St. Joseph’s seems to rely on the 3-point shot. If the Gophers can defend that while preventing easy baskets in transition, they should be OK. GOPHERS 10, ST. JOSEPH’S 10.

Starting Lineups:

St. Joseph’s Hawks (3-5):

F Jr. Idris Hilliard
C So. Todd O’Brien
G So. Chris Prescott
G Sr. Darrin Govens
G Sr. Garrett Williamson

Minnesota Gophers (6-3):

F Sr. Damian Johnson
C So. Ralph Sampson III
G Jr. Blake Hoffarber
G Jr. Al Nolen
G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook

An announcement on the scoreboard says that tickets are still available for the Elite Eight volleyball match between Minnesota and Florida State at 5:30 p.m. at the Sports Pavilion.