Sunday's college basketball: Minnesota hands No. 3 Ohio State first loss
Minneapolis — With an eight-day break between games, Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann was wary of this trip to Minnesota despite the roll his team had been on.
The third-ranked Buckeyes had the kind of flat performance Holtmann was worried about, and — Poof! — their perfect record was gone, thanks to an all-around effort by the Gophers.
Marcus Carr scored a career-high 35 points and Daniel Oturu had 14 points and 13 rebounds, and Minnesota toppled undefeated and third-ranked Ohio State 84-71 on Sunday for coach Richard Pitino’s first win against a top-five team.
“I thought we had some inconsistencies to our practice week,” Holtmann said. “You’re not always sure if that’s due to finals or whatever. Obviously, it was a significant layoff, but I don’t look at that as the reason that we lost. They were the better team tonight.”
Oturu outworked Kaleb Wesson in the paint to win the battle of two of the Big Ten’s best big men with his sixth double-double of the season for the Gophers (5-5, 1-1). Prior to this game, the highest-ranked opponent they’d beaten in seven years under Pitino was No. 6 Maryland on Feb. 18, 2016. Minnesota beat the Buckeyes’ average scoring allowance by 30 points. That was fifth in the nation entering the game.
“I don’t know if there was a weakness in what we did,” Pitino said. “I just thought start to finish that was about as complete a game as we’ve played here.”
Carr stole the show with 28 points in the second half, but it took a collective increase in aggression by him and fellow guards Gabe Kalscheur and Payton Willis after a 20-point loss at Iowa when the three of them combined for 10 points on 3-for-29 shooting.
“We definitely had an emphasis on coming out here tonight and re-establishing what we want to do and the kind of team that we want to be going forward,” Carr said.
Carr, who’s in his debut with the Gophers after sitting out last season following a transfer from Pittsburgh, shot 12-for-17 from the floor after going 1-for-10 against the Hawkeyes.
“This is acting like a coming-out party for him,” Oturu said, “and people should start taking notice.”
The last time the Gophers beat a top-five foe was No. 1 Indiana on Feb. 26, 2013, under coach Tubby Smith. They were swarmed by their fans at midcourt after the clock ran out on Sunday.
Ohio State became the latest team at or near the top of the Associated Press poll to fall in what has been a wild first six weeks of the college basketball season.
“And I went ahead and said, ‘We can beat any team in the country,’” Carr said. “I know we haven’t been playing like it. I know we didn’t start out the season like we wanted to, but at the end of the day me and my guys and the coaches, we all have that belief in each other.”
Freshmen D.J. Carton (19 points) and E.J. Liddell (14 points) had season highs off the bench for the Buckeyes (9-1, 1-1), but Wesson had just 12 points and six rebounds with his playing time limited by foul trouble. He went 4-for-13 from the field and had six turnovers.
“We weren’t physical enough. We weren’t the more ready team, and we got beat,” his brother Andre Wesson said. “We can either learn from it or put our heads down and keep doing this, but we’ll be ready.”
Kaleb Wesson picked up his fourth foul at the top of the key for an illegal screen, lowering a shoulder into Kalscheur with 13:47 to go. Then Carr swished a 3-pointer for a 53-37 lead. The Buckeyes came as close as nine points down the stretch with less than four minutes left, but Carr answered with a three-point play after a drive in traffic drew a foul on Andre Wesson to push the lead back to 72-60.
Minnesota caught a big break with the absence of Ohio State’s second-leading scorer and best 3-point shooter Duane Washington Jr., who didn’t dress for the game because of a rib injury. Washington went 8 for 14 from 3-point range over the previous two games.
“His absence obviously leaves a scoring vacancy, but I don’t think it was ever really one of those games where it was within reach enough,” Holtmann said.
More Big Ten men
(At) Nebraska 70, Purdue 56: Cam Mack had the first-ever triple-double for Nebraska, Dachon Burke scored 18 points and the Cornhuskers gave Fred Hoiberg his first Big Ten win.
Mack had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists as the Cornhuskers (5-6, 1-1) won for the first time in four games and less than 48 hours after a 96-90 overtime loss at Indiana. The rebounds and assists are a career-high for Mack.
Burke made four 3-pointers, including one that pushed Nebraska’s lead to double digits in the last 3 minutes, and he followed that with a fast-break dunk off Mack’s pass to all but finish off the Boilermakers.
Trevion Williams led the Boilermakers (6-4, 1-1) with career highs of 18 points and 16 rebounds. Purdue shot a season-low 30.4% (24 of 79), never able to complete a comeback despite making several pushes in the second half.
(At) Northwestern 72, SIU-Edwardsville 54: Ryan Young had career-highs with 25 points and 12 rebounds, Pat Spencer had 15 points and Northwestern overcame a sluggish offensive performance.
Young, a redshirt freshman, was 11-for-15 from the field in topping his previous high of 19 points against Norfolk State last month.
Overall, the Wildcats (5-4) shot 40.6 percent (26-for-64) from the field, including 3-for-19 on 3-pointers.
Zeke Moore had 18 points to lead SIU-Edwards (2-8).
More Top 25
Wofford 68, (at) No. 17 North Carolina 64: Wofford traveled to Chapel Hill and shocked a ranked North Carolina team again, getting 19 points from Trevor Stumpe and riding a 16-0 run in the second half to beat the Tar Heels.
Storm Murphy added 15 points and Messiah Jones had 13 points for the Terriers (7-4), who went on the road to beat North Carolina for the second time in three years.
Wofford, a 12-point underdog, made four 3-pointers during its decisive spurt, a 6-minute stretch in which the Tar Heels missed 10 consecutive shots.
Garrison Brooks had 17 points and 12 rebounds for North Carolina (6-4) in its first regular-season game at Carmichael Arena since Jan. 4, 1986.
Brandon Robinson added a career-high 16 points for the Tar Heels, who lost their third straight game.
(At) No. 19 Michigan State 94, Morehead State 48: Julia Ayrault had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Michigan State overwhelmed Morehead State.
The Spartans used 14 players and 12 scored, 10 in the first half when they took a 45-17 lead.
Kayla Belles and Nia Hollie added 12 points each and Taryn McCutcheon and Nia Clouden had 10 apiece for the Spartans (7-2).
Tomiyah Alford had 13 points for the Eagles (3-6), who went 3 of 20 from 3-point range.
(At) St. Bonaventure 80, Oakland 66: Kahlaijah Dean had 19 points and Kayla Luchenback scored 18, but Oakland slipped to 4-5 with the nonconference loss on the road. St. Bonaventure is 2-8.