Minnesota Tops Men’s Basketball in Season-Opener

American men's basketball ran into a Minnesota team that was firing on all cylinders Friday night at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, Minn., as the Gophers used an impressive first half to eventually earn a 72-36 victory over the Eagles. Senior forward Stephen Lumpkins narrowly missed a double-double for American with nine points and nine rebounds.

Minnesota (1-0) came out aggressive to start the game, utilizing a full-court press and stifling defense to gain early lead that they never relinquished. Despite a sizeable deficit at the break, American (0-1) stayed with the Gophers in the second, scoring the first six points of the half, in a 28-22 frame. 

"Minnesota did a great job defensively of getting us out of what we were trying to do in the first half and capitalized on our turnovers," said head coach Jeff Jones. "We have to regroup, practice hard and focus extremely hard in order to get better as we continue on this season."

Austin Hollins was the star for Minnesota in the first ever meeting between the two schools, netting a game-high 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting with a 3-pointer, five rebounds and five steals. Rodney Williams was also effective for the Gophers, going 7-of-10 from the field for 16 points with five rebounds.

Minnesota only shot 43.5 percent from the field for the game, but the Gophers vaunted defense held American to just 23.7 percent in the contest.

Sophomore guard John Schoof was the Eagles' second-highest scorer with eight points, going a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Senior big man Daniel Fisher played well off the bench, adding four points on 2-of-3 shooting with a rebound and a block.

American will look to get in the win column with the second-straight road game to open the season, playing at Quinnipiac on Monday, November 12 at 7 p.m.

The Eagles have their home-opener at Bender Arena next Thursday, November 15, against Mount St. Mary's. Season tickets, the "Bender Weekender" 6-Game Mini-Plan which includes a free ticket to opening night, as well as individual tickets to all home games are on sale now.  Purchase your seats today by clicking here or by calling (202) 885-TIXX.