Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball v. Utah Valley

Marco LaNave

The No. 24 Gophers host Utah Valley on Thursday night in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.  The Wolverines are 1-1, with a win over North Dakota State and a loss at California State-Bakersfield.

Final – The Gophers end the game on a 13-0 run. GOPHERS 76, UTAH VALLEY 51.

4:05 2nd – Nolen has made four free throws in the last four minutes and just had a steal that led to a layup. GOPHERS 67, UTAH VALLEY 51.

8:42 2nd – The Gophers have brought the home crowd to its feet with a 7-2 run. Williams has scored the last six for Minnesota, but the fans held their breath when he was momentarily on the floor after being fouled on a dunk attempt. GOPHERS 55, UTAH VALLEY 43.

10:39 2nd – The Wolverines have started shooting themselves back into the game. They’ve gone on a 9-2 run to make things interesting. GOPHERS 48, UTAH VALLEY 41.

16:58 2nd – The Gophers have made three of their first four shots of the half, as Johnson, Joseph and Sampson each have a basket. Joseph, Sampson, and Williams have each made a single free throw. Minnesota has scored 5 points off of two more Wolverines turnovers. GOPHERS 41, UTAH VALLEY 26.

Halftime – For the third straight game, the Gophers have heated it up before the break, going on an 11-4 run over the final three minutes. They made five of their last 11 shots. GOPHERS 32, UTAH VALLEY 24.

3:04 1st – Minnesota still has not been able to pull away from Utah Valley. The Gophers have one field goal in the last four minutes. The Wolverines have passed the ball looking for an open shot all game and have started to score inside. GOPHERS 21, UTAH VALLEY 20.

7:02 1st – The Gophers are shooting just 29 percent (7-of-24) from the field, but they still hold a lead. They have scored 6 points off of offensive rebounds. GOPHERS 18, UTAH VALLEY 16.

11:52 1st – Williams just had another rebound (he leads the team with three) off of a miss by junior guard Blake Hoffarber and put it in to extend Minnesota’s lead. The Gophers have already committed five fouls, but the Wolverines have only made 2-of-4 free throws. GOPHERS 9, UTAH VALLEY 6.

14:52 1st – Neither team scored for the first few minutes until Baker made a free throw. Johnson hit a three on the next Gophers possession, and Williams later hit a shot off the glass as he was falling to the ground. Minnesota already has three blocks – two from Johnson, one from Sampson. GOPHERS 5, UTAH VALLEY 3.

For the Gophers, senior guard Lawrence Westbrook, the team’s leading scorer last season and in the first two games this season, will not play because of a stomach virus, Gophers spokesman Matt Slieter said.  Westbrook is on the Minnesota bench in a suit for pregame warmups.

Instead, Minnesota will insert its next two top scorers into the starting lineup.  Freshman forward Rodney Williams Jr., who has scored 14 points in each of the first two games, will make his first collegiate start.  Sophomore guard Devoe Joseph, who has scored 22 points through two games, will start at shooting guard in place of Westbrook.

Utah Valley

F Sr. Scoubes
F Jr. Justin Baker
F Jr. Aaron England
G Sr. Tyray Petty
G So. Kevin Woods


F Sr. Damian Johnson
F Fr. Rodney Williams Jr.
F So. Ralph Sampson III
G So. Devoe Joseph
G Jr. Al Nolen Jr.

Inactive Gophers Trevor Mbakwe, Devron Bostick, and Royce White do not appear on the Gophers’ bench.