Men’s BB : Gophers 74, SDSU 60

Trevor Born

The game wasn’t as much of a runaway as it looked at times in the first — like the 11-0 Minnesota lead to start the game or the 39-24 lead at half — but the Gophers got baskets when they needed him. Colton Iverson, a South Dakota native, had perhaps the biggest play of the second half, blocking a Kai Williams dunk that would’ve brought the lead down to five. Iverson managed to knock the ball out of Williams’ two-handed grip, which got a loud roar from the crowd — many of whom made the trip from South Dakota. Damian Johnson followed that on the next possession, taking a charge. Johnson was by far the Gophers’ best player, with 21 points, six rebounds and five blocks. The absence of sophomore guard Blake Hoffarber and junior Paul Carter wasn’t overly noticeable, as the Gophers matched up well against a tall and lanky SDSU team. Minnesota came down to the wire against South Dakota State last season — the Jackrabbits were within three points until the final 30 seconds of the game — but overcame most of the things that plagued them in that game. They held Garrett Callahan, who scored 26 against them last season, to 15 points (and just five in the first half), and they won the turnover battle 20-12. They continued to struggle on the boards, however, being outrebounded 38-36. . The Gophers improved to 9-0 and have 10 days off before their biggest game of the season — a neutral court game against No. 9 Louisville.