Gophers left feeling blue after 89-71 loss to Duke

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2012 - 11:31 PM

The Blue Devils scored with ease inside and out, never giving the Gophers an opportunity to make it a game after going ahead early.

view larger photos

  

PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS - As it turns out, paradise is full of rough waters, so far.

After cruising to four home victories against lesser opponents to start the season, the Gophers men's basketball team was jolted away from its winning ways on Thanksgiving, when it was simply outdone by No. 5 Duke.

While the Gophers hung just beyond striking distance for most of the game, they never could get over the hump, falling 89-71 in their opening game in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

"They showed great stamina and good resilience in making shots like they did," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said of the Blue Devils (4-0). "We didn't capitalize. We had a number of opportunities, and if we didn't turn them over, and we could have scored, I think it might have been different."

As it was, most of the compliments were reserved for Duke, which made 54.5 percent of its shots from the field, including 80 percent (8-for-10) from three-point range. The Blue Devils took an early 8-2 lead and never trailed.

Mason Plumlee was absolutely terrific with 20 points and 17 rebounds. Seth Curry shot 8-for-11 from the field on his way to 25 points as the Duke offense stayed efficient to the end.

The Gophers (4-1) threw everything they had at Plumlee down low, rotating Elliott Eliason (who started) with Trevor Mbakwe and Mo Walker at center, and even playing Rodney Williams at small forward with both Mbakwe and Walker in the lineup in the second half. But none of their formulas did much to stop the Blue Devils' 6-10, 235-pound senior.

"I was proud of him because of the physicality playing against those three kids," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "Mason has prepared since last spring. He's been incredibly focused -- he's been a joy to coach."

The Gophers got a big effort again from Williams, who finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and another encouraging 12-point, four-assist outing from Andre Hollins. But as a team, they showed plenty of flaws, and Duke was too good, too long and too ruthless to allow the Gophers to stage a comeback.

The Gophers turned the ball over 10 times in the first half, a half that looked sloppy at points for both teams. Towards the end of the half, Maverick Ahanmisi gave them a boost with seven points and two steals, and his three-point play six seconds before halftime cut the deficit to 37-33. But Quinn Cook hit a three-pointer as time expired to restore the Blue Devils' seven-point lead.

The Gophers cut down on their turnovers in the second half and showed better intensity, but their signature defense -- they held opponents to 28.6 percent shooting coming in to the game -- seemed to not affect the Blue Devils at all. Duke quickly restored its double-digit lead early in the half and never was threatened the rest of the way, shooting 60 percent from the field (15-for-25) after halftime.

"We had a couple more lapses than usual on defense," Williams said. "And Duke hit every big shot that they needed to, no matter how good the defense was. When stuff like that happens, you've just got to go convert on the offensive end, and that's something we didn't do today."

  • related content

  • Postgame: Gophers just not as good as Duke

    Thursday November 22, 2012

    The Gophers didn't look terrible, but the Blue Devils were elite.

  • Gophers-Duke recap

    Thursday November 22, 2012

    The big man outbattled the Gophers all game on the boards, grabbing 17 rebounds to go with his 20 points, collecting a double-double by halftime. Minnesota threw four different post...

  • Preview: Gophers vs. No. 19 Memphis

    Thursday November 22, 2012

    Gophers at a glance: The Gophers did not get the result they were looking for in their tournament opener, losing to fifth-ranked Duke 89-71, but there are still two more...

  • RESULTS/SCHEDULE

    Thursday November 22, 2012

    G1: No. 13 Missouri 78, Stanford 70

  • Minnesota guard Maverick Ahanmisi (13) and Duke guard Quinn Cook (2) s...

  • BATTLE 4 ATLANTIS [5] duke 89, gophers 71

    Up next: Noon today vs. No. 19 Memphis • TV: Axs.tv (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Boston - LP: A. Ranaudo 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: C. Morton 4
Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: U. Jimenez 8
Washington - WP: T. Roark 3 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: B. Colon 9
NY Yankees 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Tampa Bay 6
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 7
Chicago WSox 4 Bottom 5th Inning
Kansas City 3
Cleveland 4 Bottom 7th Inning
Houston 1
Detroit 0 Top 9th Inning
Minnesota 2
Milwaukee 1 Bottom 8th Inning
St. Louis 2
Los Angeles 2 Top 6th Inning
Colorado 5
San Francisco 1 Top 4th Inning
Arizona 0
Seattle 0 Top 2nd Inning
LA Angels 2
Texas 0 Top 2nd Inning
Oakland 0
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Diego 1
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan

ADVERTISEMENT

Advertisement
Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Countdown to great deals

Bid Sept. 21-29

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How do you feel about the decision to reinstate Adrian Peterson?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close