Joe Sulik, Daily File Photo
The emotions of the crowd at Williams Arena went from one extreme to another Saturday afternoon in an up-and-down game, where Minnesota and South Dakota battled into double overtime.
The fans were silent at the end of the game as the Gophers fell to the Coyotes 85-81.
“We were concerned heading into this game,” head coach Richard Pitino said. “It’s a disappointing one. We’ve got to find a way to really learn from it.”
Minnesota’s freshmen led the losing effort against South Dakota.
Freshman forward Jordan Murphy notched back-to-back double-doubles, scoring 19 points and grabbing 17 rebounds after his 24-point, 10-rebound performance Monday against Clemson.
Freshman guard Kevin Dorsey added 15 points and five rebounds.
Murphy fouled out early in the second overtime and couldn’t finish the game.
“Having four fouls and just being in there, [you] have to be careful and make wise decisions,” Murphy said. “Obviously, I didn’t make a wise decision because I fouled out.”
Minnesota gave the Coyotes a 9-2 lead before getting into a rhythm offensively, using a 12-0 run to get out to an early 14-9 lead.
South Dakota was able to make a run of its own with help from the Gophers’ inefficient shooting and turnovers.
Minnesota had eight turnovers in the first half, which stalled the team offensively, and shot 39.3 percent from the field in the first half.
South Dakota shot 46.7 percent in the half, building a 35-29 lead going into halftime.
The Gophers shooting worsened after the break as the team went 7-26 in the second half.
“I don’t think we are a great shooting team,” Pitino said. “That’s a concern of mine. I think we were getting a little bit locked into the post with switches. Spacing wasn’t great; we weren’t reversing the ball and attacking.”
The Gophers used the free-throw line to cut the deficit in the second half, getting into the bonus early in the half.
Minnesota shot 21 free throws in the second half, going 16-21 from the line.
The Gophers defense was better in the second half, holding the Coyotes to a 34.6 shooting percentage.
Minnesota used a 10-0 run to tie the game at 50, and the rest of the half was back and forth until the Coyotes took a two-point lead with 10 seconds left.
Minnesota then pushed the ball down the floor, and after sophomore guard Nate Mason missed a shot, Murphy was able to tip in a rebound to send the game into overtime.
“[Freshman guard Ahmad Gilbert Jr.] told me to go crash [the glass for a rebound] because the game was over already,” Murphy said. “I went to go crash and got the tip-in.”
Minnesota had a six-point lead in the first overtime but let it slip away with less than two minutes left.
The second overtime was the same back-and-forth game, with Minnesota and South Dakota trading buckets.
The Gophers were down two with 35 seconds left but missed a shot and fouled South Dakota. The Coyotes secured the upset from there.