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Gopher Game Blog: MSU humbles #24 Minnesota

Minnesota came into East Lansing the number 24 ranked team in the nation and they left it with a 65-47 loss where the Gophers were controlled nearly from start to finish.

The Gopher Game Blog provides our game analysis but you can also read the GI analysis in the Game Thread of the premium board which is linked below:

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

Pregame

The Gophers are 15-2 while the Spartans are 11-6.  Minnesota is on a three game winning streak while PSU won their first three games in conference play but lost to Penn State over the weekend...In the previous game Michigan State was without freshman Miles Bridges did not play but he has returned to the line-up for Michigan State.  Minnesota will have Eric Curry but he is playing with a painful bruised heel.  The Gophers are of course without junior Davonte Fitzgerald...Minnesota's consistent starting line-up of Nate Mason, Dupree McBrayer, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, and Reggie Lynch is expected once again.  Michigan State started the four freshman Nick Ward, Cassius Winston, Joshua Langford, and Bridges along with Eron Harris.  It's one of numerous starting line-ups that they've used...

First Half

Nate Mason opens the game with two okay jumpers. Contested and off.  They need him to have a good game.  Dupree McBrayer with a travel and a miss.  He’s also struggled…Jordan Murphy has given up two of the baskets to Miles Bridges by just not being in position on defense.  He’s been improved in that way but not tonight.  He got dunked on because of the bad positioning…Reggie Lynch called for a travel, Nick Ward made the same move and wasn’t called for a travel but he missed the shot…Murphy gets one basket back with a post move over Bridges.  Jordan also had an excellent kickout to Dupree for an open three.  Dupree needed that….MN 9 MSU 13…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/819335980285104128

Akeem Springs comes on and gives up an offensive board instantly…Michigan State has had Tum Tum Narin pushing the pace rapidly but when Cassius Winston came in things have slowed down.  That’s not a difference in PG, it’s a difference in the pace of the game….Jordan Murphy goaltends  it looked like although that shot was so short I think they may have just let it go as it was about to be an airball.  Gophers are playing good position defense on Ward…A three second call on Ward!  Ted Valentine strikes again!  He was in the lane for six seconds…Eric Curry’s first shot has to stop being from long range every game.  That’s what it’s been…Nick Ward gets a weak second foul.  Considering last game, Minnesota will take it as “what goes around comes around” but I didn’t like that call…Gophers not getting any clean looks at all.  Springs just had a pull-up blocked…McBrayer with a one hand floater across his body.   That’s his second make so far….McBrayer attacks and finishes again.  That’s three scores and a good sign.  Needs some of his teammates to join him…Mn 13 MSU 22…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/819339313657815040

Back to back transition scores for Dupree McBrayer.  One dunk against nobody, one pull-up four on three.  Those are good but the Gophers are not getting anything as a team….The Gophers have got four  good post touches to Reggie but only one good result.  One make, three misses, one turnover….Bridges scores over Muprhy at the arc.  It’s a tough match-up for Jordan but he needs to work harder…Minnesota needs to get some touches in space in some way…MN 17 MN 30…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/819342121496940545

Amir Coffey with a nice pass to Eric Curry and Curry misses another bunny.  He misses a lot more lay-ups than you would expect…On cue Coffey misses a three and Curry gets the board but misses another lay-up…Murphy sinks too far off Bridges, ball is reversed to him, Bridges catches and hits.  Too much range for Jordan right now but what else can the Gophs do as Jordan can’t guard a wing out here…Bridges outworks Minnesota for the offensive board and gets foul shots…Murphy tries to attack Bridges, gets the spin, but can’t finish.  Jordan Murphy is really struggling. He’s better than this…Eric Curry misses a lay-up again.  Again.  No more jumpers until you can make a lay-up….MN 17…MSU 39…

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Second Half

Mason attacks for an And1.  His first score…McBrayer is tied up wrestling with another player and he’s taken down from behind.  And he is whistled for a foul?  That’s Valentine.  Bridges stepped over him when he was on the ground and talked smack too…Reggie Lynch doesn’t get called for an illegal screen, Izzo goes crazy, Reggie gets foul four for tapping a guy in the post.  That’s Big Ten refs…Dupree completely losses Alvin Ellis and he hits a three….Murphy with back to back baskets on Bridges inside.  That’s a positive.  One was with two dribbles too.   Good plays to build on…Valentine nearly throws his arm out calling a foul on MSU…The officials are now on a rate of two calls a possession.  I dont think I’ve ever complained about refs as much as I have in the last five games…MN 24 MN 46…

Eric Curry still shooting and missing threes.    I don’t like him shooting them at all at this low percentage rate but after one miss let’s just focus on making the lay-ups…Michael Hurt can’t get around a screen, Ellis finds the cutter Kenny Goins, Curry is late in help, dunk. I just don’t like Minnesota’s effort…Hurt with the reversal and finds Curry who makes a reverse lay-up.  Excellent for many reasons starting with two reversals on one possession…More ball movement, Curry cuts, Dupree finds him, score for Curry.  Two lay-ups made, better offensive possessions…MSU 49 MN 28…

Langford fakes, Michael Hurt goes for that fake, Langford then beats him with a jumper and Michael couldn’t recover.  Can’t go for that fake, stay disciplined….Michigan State is just destroying Minnesota on screens and the Gophers can’t recover to the hard cuts off the screen.  Good MSU offense…Curry board, Mason push, Akeem three, it’s under 20!...

Eric Curry misses a fourth lay-up tonight…Reggie Lynch makes a move right shoulder, looks good, rims out.  He goes back the other way and Reggie fouls out. Tough night…Minnesota’s bigs have missed ten shots from two or three feet that I can recall…Eric Curry misses another jumper.  Why is he shooting so much?  How about Mason? Dupree? Coffey? Anybody!  Curry has missed four lay-ups and at least three jumpers.  No problem with him getting shots, but tired of the jumpers right now. Maybe another night…Ball screen, Ward rolls, Curry just kind of stood there between the screen and the roller, shot goes.  Curry needs experience and this is a good time for it.   But we are also seeing he has a lot of room to grow.  But a talented player that will be very good for this team…Murphy gives up three inches, does clear space with his move, still tries to shoot over Ward. Nope.  Stuffed and Murphy falls back…MSU 61 MN 37…

Eric Curry has done a nice job on Ward for the past six or seven minutes defensively….Mason  has a host rim out.  He is now 2 for 11 and his shooting numbers since the Purdue game are gross.  He has made 6 of his last 31 shots since the Purdue game…Mason scores in transition and he needed one to go…Mason makes another one…Mason comes off a screen and makes a three off a ball screen…Mason his another jumper.  Finishes the game making four of four and that could help the confidence potentially…MN 47 MSU 65…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/819361808108634114

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