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BTT Gopher Game Blog: Gophers fall to Michigan

Michigan got ahead of Minnesota by 15 quickly and used that early cushion to defeat Minnesota 84-77. A gassed Gopher team couldn't deal with the Michigan pick and roll led by Derrick Walton Jr and his career high day.

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Pregame

Akeem Springs is being honored on the scoreboard as he is listed as a starter in every spot for Minnesota.  The Gophers will start Dupree McBrayer in Akeem's place.  Also starting will be Nate Mason, Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, and Reggie Lynch...Michigan is starting Derrick Walton Jr, DJ Wilson, Zak Irvin, Moritz Wagner, and Muhammad Ali-Abdur-Rahkman...The last time the teams played it was an overtime game won by Minnesota 83-78 in overtime...Michigan has beaten Purdue and Illinois after their plane issues in travel, Minnesota has beaten Michigan State....Minnesota is in gold....Game is on CBS...

https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/840620422068613121

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First Half

Amir Coffey follows his miss, attacks, extends, takes contact, uses that length and touch to finish.  That’s an And1 and a remarkable play that only he can make…Michigan size is getting free to hit shots.  Only so much Minnesota can do with that.  Irvin, Wagner, and Wilson all with early jumpers…Michigan has went at Jordan Murphy twice now with ball screens and had success.  Richard Pitino called timeout to talk about it…Minnesota calls a set out of the timeout and Murphy drops the ball out of bounds.  That’s three big turnovers from the Gophers early…Coffey gets beat early in the possession, Reggie has to help leaving Wagner wide open for his fourth long jumper make…Reggie has twice scores on Wagner…Reggie doesn’t block out, Wagner gets a second chance board and hits a teammate as McBrayer was beat backdoor…Now Coffey is beat backdoor again.  And there is no Reggie to protect because of Wagner’s shooting…Mich 19 MN 9…

Great pass from Dupree to Eric Curry and Eric completely biffs the lay-up again.  That has to change…Amir does such an amazing job rubbing/clearing guys off screens to catch and produce.  Love him cutting off the wing as well as catching and attacking against rotating defense from the wing.  So deadly…Derrick Walton pushes McBrayer off slightly in transition, steps back, hits.  Great score…Mason uses the screen to finish at the rim.  All Big Ten guards making All Big Ten plays back to back…Coffey doing better defending those cuts…MN 13 MICH 25…

Wagner hits a jumper and again, its drawing Lynch away from the paint.  These jumpers hurt in so many ways…Lynch with the hook call on his move and that was an elbow hook, a good call…Dupree with a  pretty finish attacking…Coffey in perfect position to defend Irvin who still hits…Good defense from Murphy forces a turnover…The dribble drive action gets Dupree to Reggie for a dunk…Foul two on Reggie and both were good fouls…Good thing is that Michigan doesn’t post up much so Minnesota can use Curry and Murphy a lot…Amir with a three point play…Amir gets beat by Irvin baseline as Amir’s feet got caught up…Mich 33 MN 23…

Coffey losses the ball again so it’s a Michigan lay-up…Dupree attacks off a reversal and scores for the third time plus he had an assist this way as well…Coffey catches and attacks after a Mason pass.  More Coffey attacking from that spot against an out of place defense…Murphy is having a lot of problems with the Michigan length…Pitino has still only played six guys.  The Michigan non post ups keeps Bakary out, Springs is out too.  But Pitino hasn’t used his back up wings yet…Murphy with his first score…In comes Michigan Hurt after Amir hits a foul shots and gets the lead down to eight…Murphy just told the coaches not to take Amir out at all.  Interesting…Minnesota switching a lot of screens and the defense is in better spots…Mason finishes and it’s a six point game…Mn 31 Mich 37…

Eric Curry struggling on defense again today.  He didn’t come off the screen quick enough so Wilson caught, faked a late arriving Curry in the air, scores an And1 with free throw included…Michael Hurt played for a minute, Coffey back on…Murphy misses a lay-up after a nice post move…Duncan Robinson hits over Murphy for a three.  Tough stretch…Murphy misses another inside but gets his own and finishes the second chance.  That’s what they need from him…Walton fakes Curry out of the play and gets a score.  More bad defense from Curry…Coffey losses the ball again and it becomes a Michigan score…Murphy with another deep miss but fouled on putback…MN 36 Mich 47…

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https://twitter.com/RyanJamesMN/status/840639709403590661

Second Half

Michigan opens with a flex screen and Murphy/McBrayer say nothing about it to each other so its an easy Michigan score.  Terrible defense…Minnesota gets a putback dunk from Jordan and that was needed…Irvin curls a screen and hits.  Coffey couldn’t get around, Lynch wasn’t able to get up to help out of fear of Wagner…Wild shot for Dupree…Two guys go with Dupree who finds Jordan for a dunk.  Nine point game…Reggie finds Coffey with a pass out of the post and Coffey goes baseline to score…Wagner fakes Reggie out again.  That’s the fourth time a Gopher has went for the Wagner fake…MN 44 Mich 53…

Dupree with another rushed shot that is missed….Curry misses another lay-up…McBrayer makes a three on a skip pass.  First Gopher three of the day, that’s an 11-2 run and Minnesota is within four…Coffey finds Dupree coming off a screen and Dupree hits again…Coffey to Mason moving the ball around the perimeter again and we have a tie game.  That’s a Mason three…Wilson is taking some dumb shots for Michigan….Curry goes airborn for the fake, Robinson relocates to hit….Great box-out from Curry for a board and a foul…MN 55 Mich 58…

Mason can’t get around a screen, Walton catches and hits.  Mason completely frozen after the screen so Walton had all the space…Mason with another tough early shot…Amir is physically rebounding today.  His last board put foul four on Wagner as Wagner grabbed Amir’s arm on the board…Mason taken out on another screen and Simpson scores.  Mason easily getting screened…Coffey with a great pass to Murphy for a dunk…Mich 64 MN 59…

Nice play out of the timeout finding Reggie in space on the block for a physical turn into a one hand finish…Mason can’t get through a screen again and Walton hits….Mason switches off Walton so Walton hits a three over Murphy for a score.  Michigan is going at Mason for screens constantly….Knowing he is being taken advantage of on defense Mason just took a frustrated quick jumper that missed.  His bad defense just hurt his offense…Screen on Nate, Walton attacks and assists to Donnall…MN 74 Mich 65…

Curry gets switched on to Walton and he fouls Walton.  Curry fouls out…Walton uses another ball screen to hit a cutter for a dunk.  Beat Mason again….Remember Mason was named first team All Big Ten over Walton. Big motivator here…Mason with a crazy scoop shot into a score.  Five point game…Mason attacks to score and it’s a one possession game…Walton makes four foul shots to put Michigan up seven points with 33 ticks left…Michigan puts it away 84-77….


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