Minnesota Hands OSU First Loss
By DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer
MINNEAPOLIS — 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 night for coach Richard Pitino’s first win against a top-five team.
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.
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), and Wesson had 12 points and six rebounds with his playing time limited by foul trouble.
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 to lead a determined bounce-back from a 20-point loss at Iowa earlier in the week. Carr went 1 for 10 in that game, in which Minnesota’s three starting guards combined for 10 points on 3-for-29 shooting.
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 Sunday.
Minnesota beat the Buckeyes’ average scoring allowance by 30 points. That was fifth in the nation entering the game.
Ohio State outscored its last two opponents 105-61 in the second half, but there was no surge against Minnesota. Wesson picked up his fourth foul at the top of the key for an illegal screen, lowering a shoulder into Gabe 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.
Ohio State stormed into Minnesota’s storied Williams Arena with the opportunity to take one of the top two spots in the next Associated Press poll, after No. 1 Louisville lost to Texas Tech earlier in the week.
The last remaining unbeaten team in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes took the nation’s best scoring differential, an average margin of 26.2 points per game, into the night. They took two big steps toward making this December one to remember, blowing out then-No. 7 North Carolina on the road and topping the 100-point mark in the conference opener against Penn State. That was the first time the Buckeyes reached triple digits in a Big Ten game since 2006.
No. 17 North Carolina 64
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The venue was different, but the result was the same.
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 a 68-64 win over the 17th-ranked Tar Heels on Sunday.
Storm Murphy added 15 points and Messiah Jones had 13 points for the Terriers (7-4), who won at North Carolina for the second time in three years.
“We know what comes with the intensity of this type of game,” Murphy said. “We 100 percent believed we could do it and we were going to win. It was a blast. It was absolutely a thrill.”