The South Dakota Coyotes entered double overtime with four players holding four personal fouls. But the biggest player in the game, Jordan Murphy, was the first to foul out of the game. Murphy had 19pts/17rbs and as he took a long walk back to the bench the fans and even the Gophers' bench appeared lifeless. The Conference Player of the Week, Joey King, hadn't made a 3 all day and the Gophers were just 4 of 20 on 3-point attempts entering the second overtime. Where does the offense come from with no Murphy and a Joey King off shooting day? Can you rely on Bakary late in the game under these circumstances?
All the sudden Nate Mason launched a 3 that ties the game at 74 a piece. Back and forth, back and forth. The Coyotes' Robertson makes a bucket, then quickly followed by a Joey King lay in. The pace started to move back into the Gophers favor. The Coyotes missed a jumper, which the Gophers rebound and Robertson makes a costly fifth foul. Left, right, left, right, left, right,.... SIT DOWN. Robertson was the Coyotes only experienced big man and the Gophers quickly started looking inside to Joey King as a result. Late in double overtime Nate Mason forced a 3 with about 11 seconds left to play. He missed. The senior guard Kasperbauer secured a rebound and drew a questionable foul call. The Gophers nearly had the turnover. Kasperbauer made both his attempts, but freshmen Kevin Dorsey was put on the line with about 4 seconds left. He went 1 of 2 from the line. The Coyotes were fouled, made their free throws and that was it. A desperation three was launched as the fans headed for the exits not even turning around to watch the upset become final. The Summit League scored its first victory of the season over a B10 opponent.
I thought this might be the game where the Gophers would fall asleep and possibly lose. You hate to be right in those types of situations, but it had all the makings to be an upset:
- Opposing team's roster with players from MN
- Summit League with that sort of slighted little brother mentality
- The Gophers just came off a big win on ESPN and hadn't lost at home yet this season
After Jordan Murphy fouled out that seemed to be the final nail in the coffin. Nate Mason launched that 3 without looking for Joey King. With Robertson fouling out it seemed to be the plan that they would look for King, but Mason had let it fly anyways with plenty of tick on the shot clock. On a night where you are shooting around 20% from 3-point land you have to get penetration. It was a hard fought contest, but this could be a glaring stain if the team hopes to make it to the postseason. Kevin Dorsey is starting to play looser, yet also seems to be getting used to playing at this level. Clearly, there is a whole lot of development yet to be had this season. The Gophers play, in my opinion, the tougher South Dakota basketball team next-- South Dakota State. If they go 0-2 in a border battle before even starting B10 play that would surely be a blemish on what has been a solid start to the season. They will have to show some grit and get off to a quicker start than what they've done so far this season. Shot selection. More dribble drives from Murphy, Morris and Dorsey against SDSU.