TBD

Paul Hodowanic

Saturday’s game against #9 Michigan State (19-5, 10-3) provided the Gophers (16-8, 6-7) a huge opportunity to boost their NCAA tournament resume, as the Spartans had lost three games in a row to unranked opponents, but shooting woes cost Minnesota as they lost 79-55, their third loss in a row. 

The game also showcased the continued Michigan State dominance over Minnesota, as they have won 16 of the last 17 games at home against the Gophers and 19 of the last 23 games overall.

Shooting, specifically from the 3-point line, has been a consistent struggle for the Gophers for much of season, as the team ranks last in the Big Ten in 3-point percentage at 30.5%. It has reared it’s head in a major way in the past three matchups as their 3-point percentage over that stretch is 18.6%. 

Against Purdue the Gophers shot 2-16 from deep, and 1-13 against Wisconsin. On Saturday the team improved slightly, but still struggled to create open looks and find the bottom of the basket, converting on 5-14. 

*Quote about 3-point shooting

Minnesota’s overall field goal percentage was underwhelming as well, as the team hit just 36.7 percent of their shots. The Gophers 18-49 performance was considerably below their season average of 44 percent. 

The catalysts of the Gophers shooting offense were unable to get into a rhythm as Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey combined to shoot 3-10 from the floor. Coffey was unable to get either of his 3-point attempts to fall and didn’t score until 8:23 left in the second half. 

*Struggles from either Murphy or Coffey 

Freshman Gabe Kalscheur and Daniel Oturu were the lone bright spots for the Gophers as they scored 17 and 12 points respectively. 

*Quote about either Gabe or Dan

Amongst the struggles, Dupree McBrayer became the 44th player in Gopher history to score 1,000 points. The milestone was passed early in the first half as McBrayer banked in a 3-point attempt to put the Gophers on the board and put himself over the 1,000 point mark. McBrayer joins fellow teammates Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey in the esteemed club.

*Quote about dupree

The Gophers will look to flip their recent fortunes on Wednesday Feb. 13 at Nebraska as they take on the Cornhuskers who beat them twice last season.