Recap of Past Weeks + B1G TEN Play Is Here

Back From Break
Sorry for the delays. We had a long break as the University had finals, in addition to some technical issues that delayed the completion of this article. Let's catch up. Since the last game we covered, the gophers have been hot. With their only non-conference loss coming to a very hot Florida Sate team on the road. Wins over Vanderbilt and New Jersey Institute of Technology bolstered the Gophers' portfolio as Big Ten play neared.

The Start of B1G TEN Play
The Gophers started B1G Ten play against an underperforming, yet incredibly talented and dangerous Michigan State team at home. MSU was without their high-flying playmaker Miles Bridges, and their lack of flash really showed itself early in the game. The Gophers dominated the first half, at one point opening up a 15 point lead. At the end of the first half the Gophers had a 13 point 39-26 lead, and it appeared that they would have little trouble with MSU. However, Tom Izzo's Spartans fought hard early in the second half to close the gap in very little time. The run was carried by Sparty big man Nick Ward. He was an unstoppable force in the low post that was made even more dangerous after Reggie Lynch and Bakary Konaté were in foul trouble very early. Ward ended up with 10 rebounds and 22 points, almost of which came from close range. The game remained very close until the last seconds of regulation which ended in a Missed jumper from Amir Coffey. Overtime was much of the same, coming down to whichever team could score last. It was the Gophers with the ball as the clock wound down, trailing by one. Nate Mason put an off balance shot that did not fall, and the Gophers chances faded.  The final score was 75-74. Even though they lost, it is important to remember that losing to a Tom Izzo coached team in overtime is still an incredible accomplishment. Izzo went so far as to praise the Gophers, saying they were the best group he has ever coached against from Minnesota in his time as a coach.

Following the game against Michigan State, Minnesota traveled to Mackey arena where they hadn't won since 2005. They came up against the AP 15th team in the nation Purdue. Being an away game, we were not able to cover it live so the recap of the game will be brief. The game was similar to the game against Michigan State, where the gophers felt in control for the majority of the first half, and the entirety of the second half was very close. Just like the last game, the teams were tied after regulation, but unlike last game, Minnesota was able to pull ahead in the end in order to get their 13th win of the season. The score was 91-82. The biggest takeaway from the game is that the Gophers showed growth between that game and the Michigan State game. The heightened level of maturity shown by the very young Gophers core players is a promising sign for things to come.

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