POSTGAME RECAP v. WISCONSIN (78-76 L-OT)

Eli Sherman

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Heartbreak at the Barn
1/21/2017
Eli Sherman

Saturday night at the Barn gave us a tough contest against our eastern rivals. Wisconsin came into the game 4-1 in the B1G and sporting a #17 ranking as well. And the Gophers held their own until the very last play. Though, the game ended in an overtime loss; a young Gopher team fought tooth and nail and had a pretty good look with a last second 3 that would have won the game.

The Barn was rocking and there were definitely some bright spots to be had. Akeem Springs was red hot (6-12, 3-6 3FG, 16 pts) and along with Amir Coffey (8-14, 3-4 3FG, 19 pts) combined for 35 of Minnesota’s 76 pts. The team as a whole shot 52.9% from 3pt range. Nate Mason struggled from the floor again today going 3-14 but his leadership, 10 assists, and defensive positioning were key in this game being as close as it was.

Other strong performances came off the bench this game. Bakary Konate provided a big jump off the bench when Reggie Lynch got into some early foul trouble, but lacked to provide anything offensively. Dupree McBrayer (5-7, 2-2 3FG, 14 pts) seems to be enjoying his shift to the bench as he was easily the Gophers 6th man of the game with 21 quality minutes.

Amir Coffey led the team in two major categories with 19 pts and 41 minutes played. Playing times totals were followed by Mason and Springs who each had 36 minutes.

Early foul trouble was again an issue down low. Lynch has now fouled out of 5 of 7 B1G games. This allowed Ethan Happ and Nigel Hayes to take advantage of defensive mismatches that would eventually do the Gophers in. At the end of the second half the Gophers went on a scoring drought for 5:13, too. That ended with an Akeem Springs 3-ball with 12 seconds left that forced overtime.

For many Minnesota fans this loss hurts a lot. We looked good all game and had the lost shot at the end. It may be hard to stomach right now but bodes well for the future of this team and season.
 

macgopher

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Nice summary. Hated the loss, but the team fought well.
 
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