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Gopher Game Blog: Badgers hammer Gophers

Wisconsin blitzed Minnesota in the second half for a 66-49 victory. Minnesota's second half decision making was awful and the veteran Badgers made them pay with each and every mistake.

In addition to the Gopher Game Blog, GI will post our analysis in the Premium Board Game Thread linked below:

http://www.scout.com/college/minnesota/forums/3581-the-gopher-report/154...

Pregame

Wisconsin won the previous game in overtime 78-76 behind the 29/13/6/5 of Ethan Happ who fouled Reggie Lynch out of the game...Both teams are 11-6 in Big Ten play, Minnesota is 23-7 overall, Wisconsin is 22-8.  The Badgers are a top 25 team, Minnesota is 26th...Both teams have earned a double bye in the Big Ten Tournament this coming week.  The winner of today's game will be seeded second in the tournament as they will be the second place finisher in the league this year...Wisconsin will hold senior day for Bronson Koenig, Zak Showalter, Nigel Hayes, and Vitto Brown.  All four of those players are starters along with Happ...Minnesota will start Akeem Springs who was limited Thursday with a back injury.  Springs will start again with Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, and Lynch...

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/838500879435182080

First Half

Akeem gets into great help to stop Happ but he gets his own board and finds Akeem’s man for a three.  Tough start for Minnesota….Even tougher now that Reggie Lynch gets a quick offensive foul. Not good…Nigel Hayes hits from 18 feet…Wisconsin’s help is all over Minnesota’s big when they touch the ball.  Hard digs are coming so decisions need to be made quicker…Hayes gets a foul on Murphy and then gives him a strong stare.  Hayes is straight challenging Murphy early and getting results…Amir Coffey’s first touch is a no-look pass to a cutting Murphy.  Great feed getting Amir a touch off the rotating and screen…Great outlet from Reggie to Amir and Amir scores.  He’s 90 percent production positive when he has the ball in the open floor, even if it’s 1 on 2!...MN 6 WI 8….

https://twitter.com/GopherHole/status/838528353980329984

Amir just blows by Showalter like Zak’s feet were stuck.  No help either so it’s a clear path for a score…Jordan Murphy with an illegal screen.  He was called for turning around as the Badger was chasing.  It’s a foul and a foul that has to be avoided…Dupree McBrayer and Eric Curry connect on a perfect screen and roll after a reversal.  Picture perfect…Lynch with a block on Happ that leads to another Dupree feed to Lynch.  Outstanding passing from Minnesota…Lynch blocks Happ again!  That becomes a ball rotation to a Mason attack and Gard needs a timeout.  12-2 Minnesota run…MN 14 WI 8…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/838530634696044544

Lynch accidently tips in a score for Wisconsin ending Wisconsin’s scoring drought….Amir attacks, draws the defense, drops a dime for Curry.  Another great pass.  Also, Badgers just can’t move with Minnesota right now nor are they stopping the ball….Nigel Hayes and Eric Curry are really fighting.  And both got a foul on one another with physical play.  I would prefer no calls and let them battle but I’m not an official….Bakary Konante with his mandatory illegal screen violation once a game….Wisconsin keeps missing foul shots not just today, but most games.  Hayes is really having a problem as he just missed a front end of a one and one…Mason hits the pull-up!...MN 18 WI 12…

Bakary does a great job moving off the ball screen and stopping the guard but he couldn’t find Happ when he was retreating to his man so it’s a lay-up.  Not sure how he had so many problems just getting to Happ…Mason gets Showalter into the air with a fake and hits another pull-up…Trice kills Mason off the dribble and Michael Hurt had a long way to go with his help so he couldn’t get there for the stop…Curry leaves Vitto Brown so the ball gets back out to him quickly for a three.  I don’t think Pitino wanted him to double there….Coffey had a decent shot, passed it up for a wide open Mason who hit a great shot.  Mason has 11, stays hot…Great seal by Hayes as Murphy was fighting over a screen.  Nigel with the turn and dunk.  Great high IQ play…Happ scores easily on Reggie and Pitino hated the way Reggie defended that time…MN 24 WI 23…

Curry digs out an airball and finds Amir for a wide open three.  Feet set and open Amir has been hitting that….With Murphy on the bench with foul issues Curry has played quite well…Reggie digs out another board but gets the ball stripped as he keeps putting it down…Wisconsin does a great job of getting in help and taking away space, and tonight, often the ball…MN 29 WI 27…

https://twitter.com/Marcus_R_Fuller/status/838537744662032384

Second Half

Nobody picks up Bronson Koenig so Reggie had to.  What on earth was that? Bad matching up in retreat.  Then Mason shoots a quick airball….Frustrated with Mason?  Well he quickly beats Wisconsin up the floor in transition for a score…Great help from Murphy stealing the ball from Happ in the post.  Good position D for Reggie too….Murphy with another foul.  He’s been so much better with fouls this year, but not today…Bronson attacks but Reggie sends it back into his nose.  Great block…Amir attacks after a ball reversal and has a hand in another basket hitting a kiss off the glass…Reggie with a huge block after the baseline Happ spin move.  What a block!...Mason digs and can’t get back to Bronson who hits a three…Mason shoots and misses early.  Not enough ball movement….Hayes hits, Badger lead…MN 33 WI 36…

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/838543889761980416

Happ misses another foul shot but Minnesota gets bad box-outs from Murphy and Coffey so Badger ball…In retreat Amir doesn’t get to a guy so Showalter is wide open and that’s a three.  Not sure what Amir was doing as he got lost in transition locating his guy…Out of the timeout Mason gets an open attempt off the timeout set and scores…Mason misses two free throws?...Minnesota’s transition defense location has been terrible….Mason can’t get through a screen, Murphy picks up his man and Trice hits a three and is fouled!  What a terrible call.  And it costs Minnesota as that’s foul four…Curry doesn’t help over so Vitto with a huge dunk.  Lots of standing around.  Amir too…Timeout MN….MN 35 WI 48….

Mason tries another 1 on 1 attempts and misses.  Badgers push the other way and get foul shots.  Nate Mason has to lock it up.  This is the most frustrated I’ve been with him in a long time.  Bad shots, bad defense, bad decisions…Coffey makes one of two foul shots.  He has to step it up too. Missed foul shots, standing around on defense at times, took a couple bad shots…And where is Akeem Springs again?  He must be hurt…McBrayer with a much needed three point play and it’s back down to an eight point game after all that…Koenig takes Lynch and Hurt with him on the drive so Hurt’s man (Iverson) scores….Springs has missed a couple recently forcing his offense a couple times.  Ball movement!  Ball movement! Where is it?...MN 41 WI 51…

McBrayer just comes down and launches.  Why? Move the ball….Coffey hits a spot up three.  Offense was stopped so Amir just shot it over the top and it’s a six point game…McBrayer with a dumb turnover on a break.  Dupree trying to do too much.  Again.  He needs a set.  And time to get Murphy back in...Lynch goes at Trice in the post who takes a dive and the same ref who has given Minnesota all the poor calls stays consistent.  This is the official that stared down Curry….Bakary is nowhere near the help as Amir gets beat by Showalter…MN 45 WI 55….

Why on earth do guards keeping leaving Wisconsin guards?  Bronson scores a three over Murphy….Is Minnesota making these switches to bigs on Koenig on purpose?  That’s three times that’s happened.  It happened again!  Wisconsin over Minnesota and this is over. Forget the last 90 seconds….I will never doubt the odds makers again…WI 66 MN 49…


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