It was an inspiring victory for the Gophers men's basketball team as they defeated 24th-ranked Nebraska 85-78 Wednesday night at Williams Arena, doing so just two days after one of their star players lost his mother.
Dupree McBrayer, a senior guard for Minnesota, played in the game just 48 hours after his mother died of cancer. Both teams honored Tayra McFarlane, with the Gophers wearing a patch with her initials on their uniforms and Nebraska wearing warmup T-shirts with "RIP TAYRA" written on the front.
McBrayer started per usual and finished with five points, four rebounds and two steals, a hearty performance that head coach Richard Pitino could barely hold back tears when talking about it during his postgame interview on Big Ten Network.
"I have not," Pitino said when asked if he's coached in a more emotional game. "I'm proud of him. To do that when you lose your mom at this age, it's really, really hard. I'm proud of him."
“She was a great lady and one of my favorite moms," Pitino added in his postgame press conference. "She raised not only a good basketball player, but a really, really good kid."
Amir Coffey led the Gophers with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists and Jordan Murphy had 18 points and 12 rebounds for his 52nd career double-double, passing Jim Brewer for the most in Gophers history.