Minnesota 62, Purdue 50
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Minnesota continued its late-season surge Wednesday, getting 12 points from Spencer Tollackson and 10 more from fellow reserve Rico Tucker in beating Purdue 62-50.
The Gophers got 33 points from their bench to win for the fifth time in seven games after starting out the Big Ten schedule with six straight losses.
Minnesota (14-10, 5-8 Big Ten) won despite only 6 points by season scoring leader Vincent Grier. Entering the game with a 15.4 point average, Grier didn’t score until hitting a driving layup and adding a free throw with 11:57 left in the game. The 3-point play put the Gophers ahead 45-29.
It was just the fourth time Grier has failed to score at least 10 points in his two seasons at Minnesota.
Adam Boone, with 10 points, was Minnesota’s only starter to reach double digits.
Purdue (9-16, 3-11) made 18 of 43 shots from the field and turned the ball over 19 times in a ragged effort to drop to 0-12 on the road in coach Matt Painter’s first season.
Matt Kiefer, who leads Purdue with a 12-point average, scored just nine points before fouling out with 4:24 remaining.
Marcus White led the Boilermakers with 12 points.
The Gophers are 12-2 at Williams Arena, where they host Illinois on Tuesday in their final regular season home game. Minnesota has road games at Wisconsin on Sunday and Northwestern on March 4.
Neither team could establish any kind of flow during a sloppy first half. Minnesota did put together a 12-5 run to take a 22-15 lead, highlighted by a dunk by Dan Coleman off his own missed 3-point shot. Purdue turned the ball over 12 times and managed just one field goal during an 8-minute stretch of the first half but stayed within striking distance on a couple of inside baskets by Matt Kiefer.
The Gophers got only seven first-half points from their starting lineup.