MINNEAPOLIS – Elliott Eliason had 12 points and 13 rebounds to help Minnesota muscle past 11th-ranked Ohio State for a 63-53 victory Thursday night that stuck the Buckeyes with their third straight loss.
DeAndre Mathieu had 13 points, five assists and three steals for the Golden Gophers (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten), who gave new coach Richard Pitino his first signature win. They did it by backing down the Buckeyes and owning the area around the basket, posting a 38-20 advantage in points in the paint and a 39-24 rebounding edge.
LaQuinton Ross scored 22 points for the Buckeyes (15-3, 2-3), who are on a three-game losing streak for the first time in almost four years. The four other Ohio State starters combined for only 19 points, and the conference’s second-worst free throw shooting team went 11 for 18 from the foul line.
Minnesota beat Ohio State for the first time in seven meetings, a feat last accomplished here in 2010.
Against a Gophers team that leads the Big Ten in steals, the Buckeyes took better care of the ball after totaling 38 turnovers over the previous two games, but their struggles getting shots to go down was too much.
They lost last week at Michigan State and then at home to Iowa, but they’re going to have to snap out of this slide soon to keep up in the top-heavy Big Ten. The last time they dropped three in a row was February 2009, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern and against Illinois.
No. 1 ARIZONA 91, ARIZONA STATE 68: In Tucson, Ariz., Nick Johnson had 17 points, Aaron Gordon added 16 and the Wildcats jumped on the rival Sun Devils early in a rout.
Arizona (18-0, 5-0 Pac-12) raced out to a 21-point lead in the first half and didn’t let up, extending the best start in school history with a flurry of dunks and 3-pointers.
The Wildcats put seven players in double figures. Kaleb Tarczewski had 12 points and eight rebounds, and T.J. McConnell added 10 points and six assists for Arizona.
CONNECTICUT 83, No. 17 MEMPHIS 73: In Memphis, Tenn., DeAndre Daniels had 23 points and a career-high 11 rebounds, Shabazz Napier added 17 points as the Huskies pulled away to beat the Tigers (12-4, 3-2 American Athletic Conference).
The Huskies (14-3, 2-2) outscored the Tigers 8-2 in the final minute to secure their third straight win.
No. 18 LOUISVILLE 91, HOUSTON 52: In Louisville, Ky., Wayne Blackshear scored 23 points in his first game as a reserve and the Cardinals (15-3, 4-1 American Athletic Conference) used a strong offensive start in the blowout.
Recent foul troubles led Cardinals coach Rick Pitino to bring Blackshear off the bench to maximize his effectiveness, and the junior forward responded by shooting 5 of 6 from 3-point range. Louisville hit 15 of 28 from beyond the arc, its highest total since making 17 against Morgan State on Dec. 27, 2010.
No. 25 UCLA 69, No. 21 COLORADO 56: In Boulder, Colo., Norman Powell matched his season high with 19 points and the Bruins (14-3, 3-1) pulled away in the second half to hand the short-handed Buffaloes (14-4, 3-2 Pac-12) their first loss of the season at home.