The rest of the country got a good look at how good the No. 14-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers (2-0) men's basketball team is as they won at Providence (1-1) 86-74 in the annual Big Ten-Big East Gavitt Tipoff Games.
Minnesota trailed 51-46 with 14:47 left in the game before putting the pedal to the metal and outscoring Providence 40-23 the rest of the way.
Leading the Gophers was junior power forward Jordan Murphy, who finished with 23 points, 14 rebounds and 3 blocks.
"We just showed great poise and toughness at the end," Pitino said during the FS1 postgame interview. "Jordan Murphy was ridiculous."
Other key Gophers stats:
- Nate Mason: 17 points, 6 rebounds, 7-of-9 free throws
- Amir Coffey: 15 points
- Reggie Lynch: 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks
- Dupree McBrayer: 9 points, 2 assists, 2 steals
- Isaiah Washington: 8 points, 4 rebounds
Head coach Richard Pitino was mic'd up during a timeout in the second half and was preaching the importance of moving the ball on offense. As a team, the Gophers finished with just 6 assists.
Although unranked, Providence is no cupcake. The Friars returned key players from last year's NCAA Tournament team, and they're projected as one of the toughest teams in the Big East.
The Gophers have two more really tough non-conference games against Alabama (No. 25) and No. 13 Miami (Nov. 29).