Tale of Two Halfs

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Gophers entered Monday's game against Virginia with a large amount of confidence to go with an unblemished record. The first half looked like business as usual with Minnesota jumping out to a 10 point lead at the break. The second half was a different story where the Gophers got dominated in almost all aspects of the game, losing by a score of 87-79.

Minnesota started the game out well, jumping out to a 14-5 lead. The Gophers shot the ball well and had good ball movement. On the defensive end, Minnesota came up with steals while shutting down the Cavaliers' attack.

The Maroon and Gold built their lead to 10 points and countered every punch that Virginia threw. Devoe Joseph played well for the injured Al Nolen making his first three 3-point attempts.

Rodney Williams played well in the early goings but reinjured his ankle late in the first half and did not see action the rest of the night. Blake Hoffarber shot the ball well in the first, ending the game with 19 points. The first half ended with the Gophers in control by a score of 39-29.

The second half was an entirely different game than the first. The Gophers looked listless and stagnant on the defensive end of the floor, giving up open looks almost every time down the floor.

Guard Joe Harris torched the Gophers, shooting 8-12 from the field and 4-6 from deep for a game-high 24 points. Mustapha Farrakhan also dominated, shooting 8-14 including 4-5 from three for 23 points.

The Cavaliers' hot shooting prompted the Gophers to switch to a zone defense which Virginia quickly ended with more hot shooting. Minnesota also had trouble defending and rebounding in the post. Forward Mike Scott tallied 17 points and 12 boards to help give the Cavaliers the advantage in rebounding for the game.

Minnesota's performance on Monday was nothing short of disappointing. Because of the lack of the Gophers' usual defensive play, the team can only build on this loss. The Gophers are an excellent defensive team and can easily fix their mistakes to rebound in their next game against Cornell.

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