Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Deandre Mathieu scored 13 points and dished out five assists to help Minnesota pull away late for a 63-53 win over No. 11 Ohio State at Williams Arena.
Elliot Eliason finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds and Andre Hollins added 10 points and six boards for the Golden Gophers (14-4, 3-2 Big Ten), winners in nine of their last 11 games.
"DeAndre Mathieu and Andre [Hollins] made some big-time shots. I thought we finally found a way to win," said Minnesota coach Richard Pitino. "We found a way to get the win without making too many mistakes down the stretch."
LaQuinton Ross poured in a game-high 22 points and Sam Thompson scored 12 off the bench for the Buckeyes (15-3, 2-3), who have dropped three straight for the first time since dropping three in a row from Feb. 14-Feb. 22, 2009.
"I thought offensively we got the shots we wanted, but they were not going down. I am still trying to get a grip on the turnovers we had to start the second half," said Ohio State coach Thad Matta. "I kept trying to get a score to allow me to call a timeout and it never happened."
Hollins knocked down a 3-pointer to give Minnesota a 32-29 lead early in the second half.
The teams traded scores briefly until Ross canned back-to-back 3-pointers to put Ohio State ahead 38-36.
Maurice Walker scored five straight points on a brief 8-0 swing that put Minnesota in front 46-39. Moments later, Thompson's three-point play pulled the Buckeyes within one possession, 48-45, but a 9-1 burst from the Gophers made it 57-46 with 2:41 and essentially sealed the win.
The Buckeyes never got closer than nine over the closing minutes.
Minnesota led 27-21 with 3:16 left in the first half, but was outscored 8-2 the rest of the way to go into the break tied 29-29.