Following suit: U loses in Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Adam Fink

After tying the game at 61-61 with just over eight minutes remaining, Minnesota’s men’s basketball team fell apart Wednesday night.

Virginia dissected the Gophers defense, caused three turnovers and scored on an assortment of fast breaks, offensive rebounds and three-point attempts.

The Gophers’ three-and-a-half minute scoring drought and subsequent 11-1 Virginia run was the difference, as the Cavaliers

defeated Minnesota 86-78 at University Hall.

In addition to Minnesota’s loss, the Big Ten was, once again, defeated by the ACC in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge 7-2. The ACC has won all five

challenges.

Gophers freshman Kris Humphries continued his impressive rookie campaign, compiling 32 points and 13 rebounds.

In addition, Michael Bauer emerged from his offensive slump, notching a season-high 20 points.

The Gophers (2-2) were boosted by the return of center Jeff

Hagen.

The 7-footer returned after a high ankle sprain suffered last week to notch four points and nine rebounds in 17 minutes of action.

Hagen also provided a solid inside presence before fouling out.

But it was turnovers that led to the Gophers’ demise.

Minnesota committed 18 turnovers, which led to Virginia’s fast break opportunities.

And while the Gophers out-rebounded Virginia 51-40, the Cavaliers shot 45 percent from the field.

With a chance to take the lead before halftime, Ben Johnson was called for an offensive foul with 3.5 seconds remaining in the stanza.

The Gophers headed into the break trailing 35-34 but didn’t lose their composure after facing a 16-10 or 30-25 deficit.

Moe Hargrow added a double-double for the Gophers with 11 points and 15 rebounds. But the junior continued to struggle from the field, shooting only 3-for-15.

Elton Brown led Virginia (4-0) with 26 points and six rebounds.

Minnesota faces Western Illinois on

Saturday afternoon at Williams

Arena.