This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Postgame: Gophers show poise, but concerns, too

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: November 18, 2012 - 10:38 PM

Well, we knew this time would come, when the Gophers stopped winning by 30 and we started to get a little glimpse of who this team really is when they’re playing good teams.

Richmond was that team tonight, coming in as a respected program and giving the Gophers some problems right away.

The Spiders got out to a 17-8 lead, and after the Gophers went on a solid first-half run and had a one-point advantage at the half, Richmond got on top again by seven with ten minutes left in the second half.

That’s when the Gophers took over, launching a 30-8 run to finish the game.

So does this mostly cause concern based on their early flaws or mostly inspire optimism based on their return?

You be the judge.

The Gophers echoed some of both sentiments after the game.

“We really needed that,” said Austin Hollins, who finished with 13 points and four rebounds. “We had blowouts our first three games and we didn’t need a blowout this game. We needed a game like this, where we faced some adversity, and we overcame.”

At the same time, with Duke right around the corner, there are still glaring areas that were at times greatly exposed on Sunday.

The concerns:

• The Gophers have a serious turnover problem. There’s no other way to say it than that. They tied a season-high with 19 tonight, which Richmond turned around for 25 points. Everyone on Minnesota’s roster had a turnover except Maverick Ahanmisi.

• Rebounding. The Gophers looked much better on the boards in the second half, but in the first, Minnesota struggled to match the pace of Richmond, whose length inside and quickness on the perimeter for long rebounds gave them the advantage early. Gophers finished with a 41-30 advantage, though, based on their strong second-half play.

• A lack of energy to start the game. The Gophers came out – as Trevor Mbakwe said it – flatter than they have all season, and perhaps overlooking Richmond a bit with all the hype geared toward the upcoming tournament at Atlantis. That was a trap the Gophers fell into last year, and it created a lot of scary finishes for Minnesota.

Reasons for optimism:

• Rodney Williams knows how to take over a game and be incredibly aggressive when he wants to be. He had stretches where he looked like that all the time, and for the most part, when the team needed him the greatest. He got the team and the crowd going with a stretch of play that included two layups and a dunk –followed by an excited scream and air-punch. It’s the version of Williams that the Gophers need. If we could see him play that way for 40 minutes, there’s no telling what he could do.

• Four players finished with double digits: Williams, Austin Hollins, Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman.

• Andre Hollins is starting to really come alive once more and look like the leader the Gophers need him to be. Sunday was his best game by far, as he scored 14 points and added seven assists, two blocks and three steals.

• Trevor Mbakwe played his most minutes from a single game yet, finishing with 27, and scoring 9 points with 12 rebounds in that time. Coach Tubby Smith said it was a matchup issue, considering Richmond’s big men, but it’s certainly an interesting development right before the Thanksgiving tournament.

• Shooting. The Gophers are markedly improving in that area. Several big 3-pointers helped provide spark for the Gophers tonight, including one from Andre Hollins to get Minnesota’s finishing run going. The Gophers made five of 10 attempts tonight and shot 56.5 percent from the field.

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Arrieta 4
Houston - WP: T. Sipp 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Allen 1
San Francisco - WP: T. Hudson 10 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 3
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Kendrick 5
Chicago WSox - LP: D. Webb 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: D. Robertson 4
Tampa Bay - WP: D. Smyly 8 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Stroman 0
Atlanta - WP: D. Hale 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: M. Parra 1
Seattle - WP: D. Leone 5 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 3
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 8 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: Y. Gallardo 3
Detroit - LP: R. Ray 6 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: R. Pressly 20
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 13 FINAL
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 5
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Arizona - WP: J. Collmenter 5
LA Angels - LP: J. Grilli 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Gray 5
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: D. Haren 6
Carolina 7 FINAL
New England 30
NY Giants 35 FINAL
NY Jets 24
Jacksonville 12 FINAL
Detroit 13
Oakland 21 FINAL
Green Bay 31
Chicago 6 FINAL
Seattle 34
Tampa Bay 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
UCF 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Penn State
Real Salt Lake 1 FINAL
FC Dallas 2
Montreal 16 FINAL
Winnipeg 24
Toronto 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 80 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Los Angeles 72 FINAL
Phoenix 75

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How closely will you follow the Lynx in the WNBA playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT