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

Rayno postgame: Riding out the fans' 'storm'

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under Gophers players Updated: February 14, 2013 - 5:06 PM

 

Trevor Mbakwe, Andre Hollins and Rodney Williams only had a moment to take in every player’s dream come true.
 
Then they were knocked down, landing at what would end up being something like a football dogpile, Williams said.
 
“All the sudden, Trevor fell, and I ended up falling, and Andre Hollins ended up falling – so we were just all in the middle of the court on the ground for a while,” Williams said. “That’s something – you watch it on TV all the time and you always wish for it and it finally happened. I just didn’t think it was going to happen so fast with the raised court.”
 
Fans, obviously hungry for the chance, got in there quick, filling the court to its edges in one of the more impressive storms of a stormy season.
 
 It had been a long time, you see – scribes who have been around these parts for longer tried to remember when the last time Williams Arena hosted a storm, and the reckonings went back to the 80s before they drew a blank.
 
The Gophers last beat a No. 1 team in 1989, when No. 11 Illinois game to town.
 
But you didn’t need to remind the players how long it had been to draw excitement. After Trevor Mbakwe’s tear on both ends of the court paved the way, and Andre Hollins’ late clutchness sealed their hard work, the Gophers basked in the on-pouring of fans that have grown ever more frustrated with Minnesota winning just three games in the last 11, falling apart once more down the stretch.
 
Tonight, was about the win, and the moment.
 
“There’s people grabbing your arms, pushing you, you’re trying to create some space, people are jumping up and down and screaming, you’re screaming, you’re adrenaline is up, you’re happy about the win, it’s hot, you’re sweating like you’re still in the game, but it was a lot of fun at the same time,” said Austin Hollins, still wrapped up in the moment after the team had paraded to the locker room.
 
The Gophers work is far from done, but for the evening, the glory was worth basking in.
 
Some quick notes on the 77-73 final:
 
·      I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mbakwe as aggressive as he was in the first half tonight, when he came out with a mission. To the Gophers’ credit, they did a good job of getting him the ball inside the paint, but from there he went to work. He was all over the boards, played great defense on Cody Zeller (who was held to 9 points, 7 rebounds) and battled inside. This is what fans have been wanting to see every time.
 

 

·    Mbakwe’s eight field goals were a career high.
 
·      The Gophers shooting woes from the outside continued. But it was impressive to see them make it work in other ways, namely working the ball inside, where they had 40 points compared with Indiana’s 22.
·     
The Gophers had their fourth fewest turnovers of the season with 10, and didn’t turn over the ball at all in the first ten minutes of the game.
·     
According to Statsheet.com, the Gophers have won every game that they’ve recorded at least 17 assists.
 
More to come tomorrow. But for now, some leftover quotes on the rushing:
 
 
Andre Hollins: “It was crazy. It was the hottest I’ve ever felt in my life. I was kind of hyper-ventilating a little bit. It was a great feeling to have such great support from our fans. It was a great game and we needed them tonight.”
 
“When Trevor was shooting the free throw, he was like ‘Oh, Oh, I think they’re getting ready for us.’ We saw the fans lining up on the baseline of the court and it was just one of those feelings that you’ll never forget.”
 
Austin Hollins: “It was just one mad rush. I think I got poked in the eye, someone trying to give me a high-five, but it was a lot of fun.”
 
Rodney Williams: ‘As supportive as they have been, for them to finally be able to rush the court, I think that’s a big moment for us and for everybody else in the community.
 
“It means a whole lot. Anytime you get the No. 1 team in the house, you want to play your best, you want to get the W. We were able to feed off Trevor’s play early, Andre came on late, and I think that everybody that came in – Elliott came in with some huge, huge minutes and just everybody, from the bench, to the crowd, to the coaching staff, everybody was locked in.
 
“Once we got up – my little brother and my cousin found me, and I was able to get a hug and kiss from my daughter too, so that was fun.”
 
Plus, some Tom Crean gold on Trevor Mbakwe:
 
“He’s a high-level, high-energy, tough guy, that plays the game at a desperate level. Obviously, I’m biased but there’s no shame in that. He’s been in college a long time, and he’s endured a lot. When we were at Marquette we signed him, I didn’t feel we’d have him for more than two, three years tops. And then he got injured that first year and he left and I left and one thing leads to another … That’s a grown man that’s one of the best rebounders in the country and certainly in our league and he was the toughest guy on the court tonight.”

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New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

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