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Gopher Game Blog: Minnesota 76 LIU-Brooklyn 66

With four guys in double figures including 21 from Dupree McBrayer and 19 from Nate Mason, the Gophers were able to counter a big shooting game from recent NEC Player of the Week Iverson Fleming. The Gophers win 76-66 improving to 11-1.

Follow the GI analysis in the Gopher Game Blog and in the game thread of the premium message board as Minnesota takes on LIU-Brooklyn.  The link to the message board is below:

http://www.scout.com/college/minnesota/forums/3581-the-gopher-report/152...

Pregame

Minnesota is expected to be without Amir Coffey who has a small foot injury...Listed starters are Nate Mason, Akeem Springs, Dupree McBrayer, Jordan Murphy, and Reggie Lynch...LIU listing same starters as usual....Gophers wearing gold...Several high school teams are at the game tonight sitting around the upper deck.  Must of been some type of deal...Last time Minnesota played LIU-Brooklyn was Dan Monson's last Gopher win...Jerome Frink played for Richard Pitino at Florida International before Frink transferred to Brooklyn and Pitino came to Minnesota...

First Half

Game opens with a pass quick jumper from Jordan Murphy that doesn’t go.  He must shoot them well in practice and has a bit of leeway.  Back the other way Jordan is slow to come off a ball screen so the shooter has room and hits...Tough start for Jordan.  He then makes up for it with an attacking And1 and a really nice post move finish middle when the defense was scattered…Love how Nate Mason and Akeem Springs are fighting over screens early…Good ball movement from Springs to Mason gets Nate a wide open trey…MN 8 LIU 5…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/809205088606683138

Springs with the attack and dish to a flying on the baseline Jordan Murphy for a dunk.  His scores are exactly what you want.  Off ball dunk, isolated post catch and finish, attack into space on a reversal.  He also did a much better job on defense after the first couple possessions working in a stance...Dupree McBrayer with a steal, a deep attack to draw in three, feeds a Michael Hurt who ran the floor hard for a lay-up.   Michael also moved his feet and forced a turnover back the other way.  Gophers do need to do a better job stopping the corner turn off the ball screen…MN 12 LIU 9…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/809206174432235520

Eric Curry came off the bench with a jumper miss and then a turnover in the post because of a travel.  He’s hit a bit of a struggle and they need him to get going again similar to the way he started the year….Curry has to talk out screens better.  Continually having mishaps of coverage when he’s involved with a ball screen…Pitino tired of watching Bakary Konate so he goes with Murphy and Curry up front.  Bakary had just messed up a ball screen and missed a lay-up…Ahmad Gilbert is on a smaller player and that leads to a space creation into a jumper.  Gilbert doesn’t have the footspeed for a 6-foot-1 guard that was player of the week last week.  But in this line-up that is who he must defend…Mason is too big and too good for Agosto.  Just bulled his way into a pull-up…Eric Curry with a three!  Maybe that gets him going….Michael Hurt has made a couple nice defensive plays.  A help over that stopped a lay-up and then an attack cut off leading to a turnover…MN 20 LIU Brooklyn 11…

https://twitter.com/talkgophbuckets/status/809210801479438336

Mason beats the little guy for an attack and an Eric Curry dunk…Curry with a bad closeout and it frees LIU to attack middle and that sucked in the defense for a three on the wing.  Curry has some things to learn on defense still in terms of positioning on screens and closeouts…Murphy misses a three but Curry gets the board and putback.  Strong minutes from him although some rookie mistakes…Lynch and Murphy both with two fouls.  Pitino seems like he wants to leave Murphy with two fouls and five minutes to go in the half though…Nate Mason knocks out a big three when Minnesota needed a momentum score.  There have been some ugly points but they are now up nine…MN 27 LIU 18…

Overall the Gopher defense has been really good.  Some positioning things to learn but they are forcing turnovers, giving up few good shots, overall a nice defensive effort…Bakary with an offensive board, kickout, and Dupree is feet set to hit a three.  Nice play by Bakary….Nate Mason hits a deep three with the shot clock winding down and it’s a 33-20 game…Curry doing a great job chasing and fighting for boards.  Not sure I like him shooting all these jumper though.  He’s taken three, Murphy two, they’ve combined for one deep make….Great defense from Murphy staying with the fake and the spin to force an airball…Mason attacks and kicks to Spring who makes a three! Remember he airballed two of them earlier.  Good for Akeem as he’s shared the ball really well with three or four assists…MN 38 LIU 24…                    

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/809214107245219840

Second Half

First possession, illegal screen on Jordan Murphy.  Foul three. Frustrating.  Pitino reacted as if it was definitely Jordan’s fault.  Back the other way LIU makes their second three in a minute.  Then Murphy misses a bad, quick shot.  LIU makes a pull-up.  The 14 point led down to six really fast…Lynch misses a lay-up…LIU hits.  No energy, LIU hot.  That’s 11-0 run to start the half for LIU…More energy after a Pitino timeout but two Reggie Lynch missed lay-ups killed it….MN 40 LIU 36…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/809219029890191361

Pitino comes out of the timeout with a nice set getting Reggie Lynch a dunk.  Excellent play.  Back the other way Springs chases Iverson Fleming all over the place but three screens was too much so Fleming scores again.  He’s been the main guy on this run.  Springs got a little back though make a three himself and it was after really good Gopher ball movement…Minnesota cleared for Murphy after the ball was rotated to him and he backed his man down, spun, power scored.  He’s got more space to score tonight as Pitino seems to have opened things up for him with his gameplan within the motion…Jordan catches at the top of the key, spins, scores.  He’s got room to work within this spread out motion…Eric Curry makes a second jumper with feet set.  His shooting form is quality for sure.  He’s hit two tonight so I’m coming around on his jumpers, as long as they are within the right time…Gophers move the ball and Nate Mason has nobody within five steps so he sinks easily. Lead is back to double digits…MN 54 LIU 43…

Mason and Dupree McBrayer have each caught after ball reversals and attacked space making LIU defense look silly.  Dupree actually just did it again getting himself into double figures… And Dupree did it again.  That’s three Dupree attacking halfcourt scores and a tired LIU defense is not stepping in on his attacks at all.   He’s just gliding to the front of the rim…Dupree attacks after another ball reversal and LIU can’t rotate to him again.  That’s four attacking second half halfcourt scores…Make that five.  Dupree’s lift to the rim is coming way before the defense can shuffle to his line of attack…Michael Hurt defending quite well again…Hurt misses a three, Fleming comes the other way and makes one and we have a ten point game again…Jerome Fink has made two really good shots against good Eric Curry defense.  Two solidly contested shots in the last minute…MN 71 LIU 61…

Eric Curry fails to make a box-out hit and his man comes behind him and scores an easy putback.  All Curry had to do was locate when the shot went up, make contact, and grab the ball.  Not tough.  But he didn’t and its points for the other team, less boards for him.   It’s a free chance to hit a guy in the chance, take it!...Gophs work this game out well in the end.  A score more from everybody out here and the Gophs will get the win without Amir Coffey playing…Minnesota 76 Long Island 66…


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