MINNEAPOLIS — Amir Coffey scored 29 points to lead a balanced scoring attack as Minnesota defeated Rutgers 88-70 on Saturday afternoon.
Jordan Murphy scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Dupree McBrayer scored 15 points and added 10 assists, and freshman Gabe Kalscheur scored 11 points for Minnesota (13-3, 3-2 Big Ten).
Myles Johnson scored a career-high 13 and Geo Baker also scored 13 points for the Scarlet Knights (8-7, 1-4), who were playing without their leading scorer and rebounder, Eugene Omoruyi, who was out with a knee injury.
After scoring just eight points in the first half, Coffey exploded for nine in the first six minutes of the second half. He finished the day 10-for-14 from the field — including 9-for-10 from inside the 3-point line — and made 8 of 10 free throws.
But Rutgers stayed in the game thanks in large part to the play of their big men. Johnson, a 6-foot-10 freshman, and 6-9 Shaq Carter went toe-to-toe with Murphy, the nation’s second-leading rebounder at 12.0 boards per game. Johnson pulled down eight rebounds while Carter added eight points and six boards, part of the 40 points Rutgers scored in the paint.
No. 16 Ohio State 62
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa and Ohio State are trending in completely different directions. That’s great news for the Hawkeyes — and terrible news for the suddenly scuffling Buckeyes.
Luka Garza scored 16 points, and Tyler Cook had 15 points with eight rebounds. Ryan Kriener scored 11 points for the Hawkeyes (14-3, 3-3 Big Ten), who have won three straight after a 0-3 start to league play.
“We’ve obviously got a lot of work to do and a lot to improve on,” Ohio State co ach Chris Holtmann said.
That was painfully evident in a tough road environment in Iowa City.
Iowa used a 9-0 run early in the second half to seize control, and Joe Wieskamp put Iowa ahead 53-41 with four straight free throws.
Wieskamp had gotten to the line by drawing star Kaleb Wesson’s fourth foul, which came with 8:23 left. Wesson was held to a season-low two points on 1 of 5 shooting.
“If you let Kaleb Wesson catch it deep, he’s going to get 25,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “I wasn’t expecting him to get two. But I didn’t want him to get 20.”
The flummoxed Buckeyes (12-4, 2-3) then threw a zone at Iowa, and Isaiah Moss drilled an open 3 to make it 59-45. But Iowa’s raucous crowd went silent after Cook — who missed Wednesday’s win at Northwestern with a sore knee — appeared to hurt his left ankle and was taken to the locker room with 4:08 left.”
“He’s a little sore,” McCaffery said of Cook. “We’ll see how he does in the next couple of days.”