Gophers suffer first loss of season to Miami Hurricanes

The No. 10 Miami Hurricanes beat No. 12 Minnesota 86-81 on Wednesday.

Guard Nate Mason is followed by forward Jordan Murphy as the Gophers bring the ball up the court at the Williams Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Jack Rodgers

Guard Nate Mason is followed by forward Jordan Murphy as the Gophers bring the ball up the court at the Williams Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

Jack Warrick

The No. 10 Miami Hurricanes upset Minnesota on the road Wednesday night, defeating the Gophers 86-81 in front of a sold-out crowd at the Williams Arena.

“We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” Gophers guard Nate Mason said. “Obviously, we could’ve played better. Just a lot of learning things we can take away from this game.”

Gophers freshman guard, Isaiah Washington, brought the score within two points at 3:46 remaining, leaving the crowd on their feet screaming. Washington drained his second layup in a row after starting shooting 1-11 on the floor. 

Then, the Hurricanes (6-0) went on a 7-0 run to take a nine-point lead, which the No. 12 Gophers (7-1) would not come back from as the game ended with a score of 86-81.

“Credit to Miami. They made some terrific plays at the end of the game, and they’re a talented team, a well-coached team,” head coach Richard Pitino said. “We certainly squandered some opportunities that we needed not to.”

Though they lost, Gophers guard Amir Coffey had his best game of the season, scoring 23 points. He shot 7-13 from the field, made all seven of his free throws and sunk a shot sitting down in front of the basket.

Miami’s Dewan Huell led the Hurricanes in scoring with 23 points. Nine of those came in the last six minutes of the game.

The game was tied 36-36 heading into the locker room, but Miami ran away with the lead in the second half. The Gophers played Miami close, but the Hurricanes slowly pulled away. With 11:30 to play in the game, the Gophers went down by 10 points. 

Miami was winning by 12 with 8:41 remaining. The Gophers never took the lead in the second half, but kept it close all throughout the first.

Washington’s first start of his young career on Wednesday night saw him miss 11 shots, but he had to help out as guard Dupree McBrayer was out with a leg injury.

“There’s always going to be games where you don’t play at your best,” Coffey said. “But, you know, we spoke to him and he’ll be back next game.”

Miami is the first nonconference top-25 team to come to Williams Arena in over a decade. The atmosphere emulated the exciting matchup, with a packed student-section and a close game.

The Gophers next game is the first Big Ten matchup of the year. They will try to bounce back from this first loss of the season back at home against Rutgers on Sunday at 5 p.m.