For the second straight week, a University of Minnesota men’s basketball player received recognition from the Big Ten Conference. Senior center Mo Walker was named the league’s Player of the Week on Monday.
The Pitino family still has a chance to win a championship this season. Substitute center Maurice Walker made six free throws in overtime and Minnesota held off Florida State 67-64 Tuesday night to reach the NIT title game at Madison Square Garden.
Austin Hollins scored a career-high 32 points to lead Minnesota to an 81-73 win Tuesday night over Southern Mississippi and a spot in the NIT semifinals.
DeAndre Mathieu scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Minnesota came back to defeat cold-shooting Northwestern 54-48 on Sunday.
DeAndre Mathieu had 10 of his 16 points in the second half, helping Minnesota overtake Indiana for a 66-60 victory on Saturday night to end a three-game losing streak. Maurice Walker pitched in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Andre Hollins added 10 points for the Gophers (16-8, 5-6 Big Ten), who lost to Nebraska, Northwestern and Purdue over the last two weeks by a total of eight points. This time, they came through in the closing minutes.
DeAndre Mathieu scored 17 points and Minnesota came back in the second half to beat Chaminade 83-68 at the Maui Invitational on Wednesday. The Golden Gophers turned around a 9-point deficit in the second half by forcing the Division II school into bad shots and five turnovers over the final 10 minutes.
Rich Pitino has yet to coach a regular season game for the Gophers, but he will spend the first six contests without junior forward Maurice Walker, who was suspended for a “violation of university policy,” according to a university release.
Trevor Mbakwe’s return from a knee injury has received plenty of attention and is considered the key to Minnesota’s hopes of returning to the NCAA tournament this year.
Minnesota reserve big man Maurice Walker will miss the rest of the season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament and a torn meniscus in his knee.