Dec. 12, 2009
MINNEAPOLIS - Blake Hoffarber scored 20 points to lead Minnesota (7-3) to a 97-74 win over Saint Joseph's (3-6) in men's basketball action at Williams Arena on Saturday afternoon. The loss is the sixth in a row for the Hawks, who were led by 15 points each from Garrett Williamson and Darrin Govens and a career-high 14 points from Chris Prescott, who shot 4-of-7 from 3-point range.
The Hawks battled in the first half, trailing by single digits until Minnesota used an 8-0 run with four minutes to play, as Lawrence Westbrook and Hoffarber hit back-to-back 3-pointers to go up, 38-26. The Golden Gophers would stretch the lead to 48-33 at intermission, ending with another three from Hoffarber.
Saint Joseph's cut it to 52-42 in the first three minutes of the second half, but then Minnesota would use a 10-2 run to build the lead up to 52-44 with 13:17 to play. The Golden Gopehers broke the game open with a 9-0 run, to take a 77-54 lead with eight minutes to go as the home team would shoot 58.8 percent in the second half.
The Hawks shot 41 percent in the game, but turned the ball over 16 times and were outrebounded for the ninth time in 10 games, by a 43-33 margin.
"If we can go on the road and score 74 points, shooting that poorly, and with the amount of turnovers, I'll take our chances," said Hawk coach Phil Martelli. "But it's now nine of our last 14 halves that the opponents have gotten 40 points or more. So I have to look at my teaching and the combinations that I'm putting out there."
Minnesota made 9-of-20 3-point attempts, led by a 5-for-9 effort from Hoffarber. Ralph Sampson III had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was a great setting and atmosphere and I'm disappointed that we didn't put up more of a fight. I thought we fought for about 15 minutes in the first half and then we didn't really put up much of a fight going forward. We just kind of played basketball and you've got to try to win each possession and we didn't do that," said Martelli.
The Hawks take a break for final exams and return to action at Hagan Arena hosting Lehigh on December 20.