Gopher Game Blog: Minnesota defeats Ohio State 78-68

Minnesota defeats Ohio State 78-68 improving to 3-1 on the season and ending a six game losing streak to Ohio State. The Gophers are likely to be a top 25 team tomorrow after picking up another victory during this young season.

In addition to the Game Gopher Blog analysis, you can comment yourself on the  game in the Game Thread of GI that is linked below:

http://www.scout.com/college/minnesota/forums/3581-the-gopher-report/153...

Pregame

The Golden Dunkers pregame luncheon is usually in the club room of the pavilion but was held on the pavilion floor tonight because Richard Pitino was talking and because interest in this team is up....Yes that is Greg Oden working with the Ohio State players on the floor right now....Minnesota guests as recruits are: potential walk-on Jack Hutchison from Maple Grove (2017), 2018 offered talents Daniel Oturo and Gabe Kalscheur, five star 2019 Matthew Hurt along with his AAU teammate Jamison Brewer, and 2020 talents Ben Carson of East Ridge, Drake Dobbs of Eden Prairie, and Terry Lockett of Minnehaha Academy...Minnesota will start Nate Mason, Dupree McBrayer, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, and Reggie Lynch again.  Ohio State will start Jaquan Lyle, Kam Williams, Marc Loving, Jae'Sean Tate, and Trevor Thompson...Ohio State has lost second top returning scorer Keita Bates-Diop for the season and he was a 6-ft-7 junior forward. Minnesota will not offer much sorrow as they also lost a 6-foot-7 junior forward for the year in Davonte Fitzgerald....Minnesota has lost six in a row to Ohio State and 12 of their last 13 games...Eric Curry may be limited tonight with a heel injury...

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First Half

Minnesota goes right at Trevor Thompson down low with Reggie Lynch a deep touch and finish.  Excellent start.  Ohio State does the exact same thing with Jae'Sean Tate on Jordan Murphy and that goes.  Great sets to start by both coaches….Where does Minnesota have an edge?  The backside rebounding.  We see it again with Murphy grabbing an o-board…Gophers get a steal from Murphy in the post and Lynch forces a turnover.  Excellent start for Minnesota’s frontcourt…Lynch scores with the right hook this time (first one was left) but gets foul two because the ref thought he hit with the body.  Yuck.  Refs have let them play early but that call was touchy…A charge take from Amir Coffey!  That’s another turnover from Marc Loving….MN 6 OSU 3…

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Dupree McBrayer is off early.  That’s fine, that will happen.  Don’t like that he’s forced a couple things though and that’s why he has a turnover and a tough pass that forced a tough shot for a teammate…Bakary Konate with a great screen allowing first an attack from Nate Mason and then that basket for Amir to drive and score…Now Konate with a big swat!  Great step over…Marc Loving is not a good defender and Amir Coffey is eating him up….Big tap out from Murphy, Akeem Springs sends the ball to Coffey, Coffey hits…Eric Curry with a block and his feet looked good there.  His jaw was going to as he got a technical for telling his guy about the block…Akeem Springs! Hit a three, had that pass to Amir, defending…Michael Hurt comes on, gets beat but the help is there and then Michael’s help is too as he got a block….Springs hits again on the ball reversal!  Akeem Springs has been massive…MN 21 OSU 6…

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Floor is space, Akeem catches the reverse, sends a nice entry pass, Reggie goes right shoulder into a lefty hook again.  Three hooks for Reggie….Springs catches a reversal and hits again!  That was not exactly a good shot to take as the defense was on him hard but he’s hot and it went for his sixth three…Reggie is worried about fouls so he doesn’t challenge Thompson on a board and it’s a score on a putback….Eric Curry shoots a wide open three and it doesn’t go.  I can live with that once but they need a better shot as they have went three possessions without one…Now a fourth possession as Dupree McBrayer takes a dumb shot.  Dupree has tried to force his offense quick four times and it’s only worked once…MN 26 OSU 14…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/818262911118352384

Jordan Murphy scores on the backside again with no Ohio State player boxing him out.  Boxing Jordan out is hard enough, they have left him free to collect and finish twice…Ohio State has taken some terrible shots trying to attack the Gophers early and that means going into Reggie Lynch which has not worked.  He just got another block…Nate Mason hits a feet set trey and that’s his first score of the game and it puts Minnesota up 31-14…Mason gets stuck on a screen again going under and that allows Lyle the space to hit at the arc.  JaQuan Lyle usually doesn’t do well at the arc but with that type of space he will usually do okay…MN 31 OSU 17…

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Dupree shoots an early jumper and misses.  Do not like that shot.  Way too early in the clock again.  OSU took the ball and went the other way to score…Bakary catches a nice pass from Curry and dunks but is given a technical for slapping the glass as he came through on the dunk.  Dumb.  We even stop the game for that.  Bakary makes it worse by not getting back to his man in the halfcourt, OSU scores.  Then a Mason quick shot becomes an OSU lay-up as Bakary didn’t get back in time to take his man…Amir with two turnovers and Mason one recently.  All good calls, Amir and Nate both moved their pivot foot…Springs with another excellent pass after a good pass from Mason, the ball went to a feet set McBrayer who hits.  That’s a good open shot…Lynch back in for Konate and instantly gets a block.  Reggie is just so much better in getting to defensive position than Bakary, you can see the difference instantly.  Reggie reacts so much quicker and moves his feet better…OSU fouls thinking they had one more to give, they were wrong.  Mason makes two…MN 38 OSU 27…

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Second Half

After a bad first half Dupree starts the second half by easily getting picked off on the screen.  He has to do a better job getting though screens, especially when he isn’t giving anything offensively…Tate with an impressive score going over both Murphy and Lynch.  Tough to deal with that, very good shot from a talented undersized big…Lynch gives up an offensive board to Thompson who scores.  Reggie has to make a box-out hit there, or at least battle for defensive position.  That was too easy, maybe he was worried about fouls…Reggie doesn’t box out Thompson again and this time when Thompson went to the ball Reggie fouled him.  Reggie has to box out….Loving with his first make of the game and this is really feeling like the Michigan State game.  No timeout from Pitino either, must want them to play though this…That Reggie block on Tate was awesome.  Ball was pushed to Mason who pushed to a running Coffey and we have an Amir dunk…Reggie is now being outplayed by Thompson.  Reggie needs to step it up as does Dupree who is giving the team next to nothing right now…And Dupree with a steal.  He needs to get going…Akeem in for Dupree and that’s a good move…Jordan Murphy gets foul three on an over the back call where he literally touched nobody.  That’s up for terrible call of the year….MN 41 OSU 35

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/818274542778978306

Eric Curry just airballed a shot by four feet.  No more tonight Eric.  The shot went the other way for a quick transition lay-up.  Bad shots lead to that…Springs hits number four!  That’s 1,000 points for Akeem.  A thousand across his three colleges….Lyle with the dunk and he taps the board and no call!  Are you kidding me?  Bakary did that softer and it’s a technical.  Honestly guys….Reggie gest foul three with 13 minutes to go.  Leave him in his normal rotation unless he gets four.  That’s what Pitino will do…Murphy races back, gets in position defense on Tate, gets his hands up, forces a travel.  Jordan is so much better on defense this year…McBrayer with a feet set shot and it goes.  A rhythm make and that is a big one…No block out from Reggie on either of the bigs, Tate gets an easy score.  Reggie has to body on at least one guy…Reggie isn’t getting low post touches…MN 49 OSU 43….

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/818276423098101760

Lyle attacks the basket and Tate basically football blocked Springs out of the way for that score.  Tough to help when you are getting mega screened…Amir with a needed runner that goes.  They can’t contest him when he catches on the move.  Gophers finally attacking space together as a group….Minnesota’s defensive rotations are starting to get slow.  That’s what happens when you get tired.  They have to mentally get through this and work harder on defense...Thompson just runs into Bakary.  Bad foul.  I actually don’t like the call but the way this game has been played it has to be called. They are calling every touch…Tate scores behind Murphy and that’s the second straight possession that Murphy has been slow to react on defense.  Not to mention Dupree’s effort to get through the screen was about as weak as you will see…Murphy with a skip, Bakary holds the help away like Tate did earlier on the other end, Amir scores on the attack.  Good offense….MN 58 OSU 51…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/818278822969831424

Ohio State moves the ball around the perimeter, Gopher defensive rotations are again slow.  Mason was the slowest and Lyle hits a wide open three…Gophers up only four and they get the right hand jump hook to go for the Gophers.  That’s a big make….Minnesota finally gets some crowd energy and they need it as the Gophers are not defending with any energy…Officials just a garbage offensive foul as Tate fouls trying to get position.  Just a horrible call…Reggie gets foul four at the 5:30 mark.  That’s not too bad really considering where he usually is at….Mason attacks, pitches to Coffey and Loving isn’t close so Amir two hand finishes over Potter and Tate….Jordan Murphy and Nate Mason both go with the ball and it’s an open dunk for Tate.  Murphy just left him…MN 62 OSU 57…

https://twitter.com/MinnesotaOnBTN/status/81828071047772569

Reggie Lynch fouls out on just a bad foul.  Reached late trying to get an offensive rebound.  The look on Reggie’s face says it all.  He knows that was a terrible choice.  He’s out now and that will be costly…Murphy hits two free throws…Mason with a floater that gets him to the line.  Mate misses and Bakary with another foul reaching for a board that he just couldn’t get.  Another dumb foul.  It’s an effort thing but you have to know when that effort has to be pulled back…Mason with an emergency kickout and Akeem Springs hits three number five on a huge contested NBA make…Loving makes a foul shot, Murphy has a bad in-bounds pass, and Tate scores.  Good play by Lyle forcing that turnover and getting the assist.  Six point game…Gophers get foul shots from Mason, foul makes from Amir, foul makes from Dupree.  Mixed in there was a fifth foul from Tate (on an illegal screen) and an intentional foul that was just trash.  Too weak.  Gophers get a ton of foul shots to go and that is 3-1 for the Gophs in Big Ten play, 15-2 overall…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/818287193752043521


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