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Gopher Game Blog: Gophers pull off another road victory, this time in Evanston

Minnesota defeated Northwestern 70-66 in Evanston showing another step of growth beating a team on the road that crushed them twice last year. Minnesota improved to 14-2 on the season.

GI will provide our game analysis in the game blog and within the game thread.  Skip past one of the 74 coaching searching threads and share some thoughts on tonight's game at the link below!

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

First Half

Northwestern starts out….Man 2 Man!  And Jordan Murphy blows by Sanjay Lumpkin easily to score…Dupree McBrayer got stuck on another screen, his guy caught and scored and while Scottie Lindsay scored Dupree was out of position because he leaped for no reason.  No discipline there…Amir Coffey goes under the screen, Vic Law has the space to score.  Wonder if that was Coffey doing that on his own or if that is what Richard Pitino instructed them to do.  Amir sandwiched that three with two of his own though.  The second one was great Gopher passing to get Amir a feet set wide open attempt…Of course Northwestern is double Murphy, everyone does.  Murphy had a great pass out of the post that led to Amir’s score…Reggie Lynch with a spin into a 9-foot one hander.  Wow!  Look comfortable too…Nate Mason hits the open look after Lynch cleared him with a great screen.  No misses again to start the game, made their first five…Bryant McIntosh hits and that was open because Mason went lazy on defense going two eyes on the ball and losing McIntosh.  Have to stay disciplined and Nate didn’t…Lindsey gets wide open because McBrayer and Mason didn’t communicate defensively so he was wide open…Murphy with a spot up jumper from 17 feet!...Amir Coffey gets beat on a cut, it results in a foul on Reggie Lynch.  Bad defense from Amir becomes a foul on Reggie.  Wouldn’t be one if Amir defended with more effort there…MN 16 NW 14…

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Jordan Ash is wide open to hit and Nate Mason’s help was too deep so he couldn’t recover to get a good shot contest into Ash’s shooting space…Lynch and Murphy combine to miss three lay-ups.   Making everything to missing lay-ups…McIntosh attacks, physically moves Mason, scores.  Nate Mason has played eight terrible defensive minutes so far….Coffey with a nice pass to Bakary Konate.  Started with Nate Mason attack into a reversal, Amir attacked and hit Bakary.  Great offense…Coffey pushes in transition, spins, uses his length to finish.  Beautiful score just going over the top.  Not even sure the spin helped….Amir again steals and attacks….MN 20 NW 22….

Using the ball screen, Bakary set a nice screen and rolled well.  Mason timed that perfectly.  Another assist…Nate pushed the other way, takes contact, Nate scores.  Another brilliant offensive night for Mason offensively so far…The Eric Curry/Jordan Murphy jumper count.  Eric missed his first, Jordan made his first.  I can now live with another Jordan jumper, Eric?  Maybe.  If he misses another though….This game has such long possessions the TV timeouts are coming fast and furious…MN 24 NW 22…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/817195985998848001

McBrayer with a nice kick to clear Akeem Springs for a feet set three.  Great ball movement again and Dupree made that pass against three guys…McBrayer just tried to shoot a running jumper with three guys guarding him.  Michael Hurt was wide open to his right…Hurt then comes back the other way and fouls a player shooting a three.  That’s a no-no.  Hurt is out, Mason on…Lynch gets foul two going for an offensive rebound.  He has to avoid that one….Dupree attacks space against the zone and scores.  Gophs moved the ball and attacked before the defense could move with it…Jordan Murphy goes to the spin move again and blows by Skelly to score.  Great move!...Dupree over dribbles, loses the ball, Northwestern pushed to get a three.  Dupree has twice attacked and had problems trying to do a bit too much.  Attacked where there was no space…MN 31 NW 33….

McIntosh cuts off Mason and Nate basically just lost his man and then gave up.  Effort has to be better on the defensive end….Coffey makes a low percentage shot at the shot clock buzzer.  That’s talent scoring in a tough spot….Again Dupree leaves his feet and Northwestern goes around him to score.  Undisciplined right now…Dupree makes a transition attack.  He can do that for sure.  Even on a bad night Dupree is still so productive…Mason gets beat by McIntosh again!  He let a slower guy turn the corner and then muscle him for two…McBrayer shoots with ten seconds left on the clock instead of waiting to the buzzer.  He misses.  McIntosh goes and scores again!  Goes right by Mason again…MN 35 NW 39…

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Second Half

Lumpkin goes right by Murphy for an offensive board.  No effort to box-out from Jordan.  Gopher effort must be picked up soon…Nate dribbles around for ten seconds and takes a fall away bad miss?  Not sure what that was….Great move by Reggie spinning left shoulder to his left hand.  That’s textbook position from Reggie plus his strength edge got the completion….Pardon has scored on Reggie in creative ways.  I think Reggie has been a bit tentative to start this half in physical low post defense.  Like that Bakary is coming on as I think he will get real physical with Pardon…Amir is doing a good job fighting through screens right now.  Much better than how he started the game…Great recovery from Murphy after his guy came off a screen and he helped over.  Excellent effort to recover on D.  Jordan didn’t do that last year, effort and knowledge on D is much better….Springs looks at the rim and fakes a shot but losses the ball.  His first though was his offensive and that led to the steal.  If he reverses it, no problem.  Move the ball!!! MN 40 NW  47…

Ball movement, a good screen from Eric Curry, good pass from Dupree, Akeem Springs hits a three.  Next possession, more ball movement, ball again goes to a feet set shooter.  It’s Amir Coffey with feet set and he makes trey three for himself.  The ball movement is finally back and the game is back within reach.  One point game.  When ball movement is there this team wins….Gophers getting stops, Coffey pushes again, Springs scores again.  Great pass and Amir is so good in the open floor…Another steal, Springs goes to Coffey running, three point lead for Minnesota!...Michael Hurt doesn’t box out, his man goes by him, his man tips the ball up and Vic Law gets a score.   That’s on Hurt.  He has to make a box-out hit and he simply did not.  That’s an effort play…If you put a hand in the face of McIntosh the percentage is low.  Tonight’s it’s been low every time a hand was there….MN 50 NW 49…

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Nate Mason on the kickout to Hurt who catches and drains a huge three! Gophers up six.  Big shot for Michael…Michael with some really good defense on Law stopping his post up and then getting a hand up on a three point attempt that missed.  Michael did give up that board but his three and some good possessions of defense has made up for some of that….Amir on for Hurt, good minutes for Michael…Reggie with a strong finish and then a block.  Lynch gives Minnesota that guy that can ignore some smacks and still complete.  Bakary isn’t usually able to finish like that with guys on his arm and that is something that Lynch gives them….Another nice block from Murphy helping over….The Gopher defensive effort is so much better.  They are keeping guys in front, battling through screens, and just playing harder…Mason attacks in transition, never really found what he wanted, could of shooter but pulled it out and gets the clock down…Smart play but then he turnover it over and Cats get a dunk….MN 60 NW 57…

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Gophers can’t block out Skelly.  Murphy and Hurt have both had problems with him.  Jordan has gibe up a couple to him in this half…Gophers go clear-out with Mason and he misses two minutes to go.  Mason is good but there was just too much clutter so it was a contested pull-up that missed.  Scoring off ball movement would be better…On cue Coffey to Lynch who misses a dunk but then Amir grabs the ball and scores.  That was better in movement…Coffey with another offensive board and he will go to the line, so much contact in this game.  Love this way of officiating….Northwestern can’t get a good look and what they try is McIntosh over length.  Nope.  Hasn’t worked all game.  Keep him in front and McIntosh will not finish much…Gophers keep missing front ends (of 1 and 1s).  That’s Coffey and Mason now…Three point game and Pitino with a perfect draw up to get Mason coming off a screen to spring to the ball and catch.  You want Nate at the line, they got him to the line…Sanjay Lumpkin keeps arguing with his coach…Mason hits his final four foul shots  to keep the Gophs up two scores…McIntosh hits a three as Mason goes under the screen! No!  You have to have a hand in his face, either Nate goes over or Dupree helps off.  You can’t give him that space….Mason makes his final eight shots, half two was better. Another big win!...MN 70 NW 66…

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https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/817219982572527617


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