College basketball: Minnesota muscles past reeling No. 11 Ohio State
Minneapolis • New coach Richard Pitino has brought a fast-paced, perimeter-based style to Minnesota.
The Golden Gophers haven't ignored their inside game, though. Ohio State got quite the glimpse.
Elliott Eliason had 12 points and 13 rebounds to help Minnesota muscle up and beat the 11th-ranked Buckeyes 63-53 Thursday night, a rare third loss in a row for Ohio State.
"I never get bored of double-doubles," Eliason said.
DeAndre Mathieu had 13 points, five assists and three steals for the Gophers (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten), who gave Pitino his first signature win at Minnesota.
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.
That started with Eliason.
"Whenever we needed a bucket, he came through clutch with some big finishes, big rebounds," Mathieu said. "He's turned into a monster. He's really good. I think he's the best big in the Big Ten."