Statistical Differences Story of Game

MADISON, Wisc. – The Gophers battled Wisconsin until the last moments of the game but came up short losing at the Kohl Center by a score of 68-60. A variety of statistical categories told the story of the game between the two rivals.

The first stat that jumps off the page is the Badgers' free throw shooting percentage. Wisconsin shot 17-18 from the line while the Gophers shot 11-15. The Badgers were disciplined on the defensive end and didn't foul when Minnesota got the ball deep in the post.

For Wisconsin, Jordan Taylor and Jon Leuer got to the line a combined 15 times and made 14 of their attempts. Although the Gophers did not shoot poorly from the line, they did not get to the line enough to make a difference in the game.

Turnovers were the other story of the game, with the Badgers only giving the ball up twice while the Gophers had eight errors. While eight turnovers is not an enormous amount, it was no match for the Badgers' great team play and two giveaways.

During the postgame press conference, Tubby Smith commented on the fact that Bo Ryan always has well coached teams and rarely make mistakes. Coming into the game, the Gophers were tops in the conference in steals but only produced one steal and forced only another turnover.

The last story of the game was the rebounding differential. The Gophers dominated the boards and had 42 compared to just 24 from the Badgers. This trend continued with 17 offensive boards by the Gophers to just four by the Badgers.

Although Minnesota dominated the glass, they had trouble against the staunch interior defense of the Badgers which blocked an incredible nine shots.

Although many factors contributed to the loss, the Gophers should focus their attention on increasing pressure on defense and forcing more turnovers. If Minnesota can do this, they can easily turn their Big Ten season around.

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