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

Gophers postgame: Minnesota gets back on track at the end vs. Chaminade

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: November 27, 2013 - 7:22 PM

Read my game story on the 83-68 win over Chaminade here.

Gophers coach Richard Pitino said he called former Butler and current Celtics coach Brad Stevens before the Maui Invitational to ask for his friend's advice on travel (Butler was in Maui last season).

Stevens' response, according to Pitino:

"Get in as early as possible and get out as quickly as possible and I would probably schedule a Division III team first game back."

Said Pitino: "Well, we don't have that choice. We're playing Florida State."

As the Gophers head back from beautiful Hawaii, fresh off a near upset by a Division II squad, the challenges don't stop. Wednesday provided both a kick-in-the-pants and a jolt of confidence after Minnesota, which played horrendously in long stretches, eventually woke up and executed very well down the stretch to take the victory.

But the Gophers have got to learn from this game if they want to stay competitive in the long season ahead. To be certain, there are unavoidable shortcomings on this team, one of them being the frontcourt size and depth, but the effort -- which was suspect through most of the first and the first half of the second -- is not reliant on great talent. That is the one thing Minnesota has no excuse for lacking.

And it lacked for long stretches on Wednesday. The Gophers looked tired at the outset and generally disinterested until the final 11 minutes or so. That Minnesota finished on a 28-7 run is notable -- and at that point their offense was finally clicking and the defensive press looked sharp -- but if the opponent had not been Chaminade, well, a comeback of that caliber wouldn't have been so easy.

The Gophers head back to Minneapolis tonight, and will rest tomorrow before getting back at it in preparation for the Seminoles on Tuesday.

Asked what the team needs to learn from Wednesday's game, Pitino said "Probably that anybody can beat us on any given night. That just showed us. If mentally-wise we don't bring it every game, we could lose."

Other notes from today's 83-68 win:

  • DeAndre Mathieu was the catalyst on Wednesday. In the final 11:49 the point guard picked up what had been a slack performance, especially defensively, before that. During that stretch, Mathieu had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. "It was all him," Pitino said. "When he started to turn up the heat, everybody fed off of him."
  • After collecting 35 turnovers in the first two games, the Gophers had just seven on Wednesday, a highlight from a performance that was otherwise pedestrian. Minnesota shot 38.2 percent from the field, tied the rebounding battle with 38 and allowed Chaminade to go 51.7 percent from the field in the first half. Minnesota also forced 20, tying a season-high for forced turnovers (Central Carolina also had 20 in that game).
  • Andre Hollins hasn't quite looked himself in the past two games. The star guard has gone five-for-18 from the field in that span. Pitino waived off the lack of production and blamed foul trouble for his Wednesday performance. "I thought he had a good tournament," Pitino said. "He did a lot of things good defensively, showed great leadership so no, I don’t worry about that at all."
  • Mo Walker looked much better in his second game back, particularly with Elliott Eliason struggling somewhat. The 6-10 center finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
  • Malik Smith has led the Gophers' offensively through the Maui Invitational with a total of 47 points. Coming into Hawaii the senior guard was averaging 6.6 points a game.
  • Austin Hollins had another good rebounding effort on Wednesday, with the Gophers playing a four-guard lineup for stretches. He finished with eight (and nine points) and accumulated a total of 17 rebounds in the tournament.
     

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Detroit 69 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Portland 94 FINAL
Cleveland 99
Sacramento 102 FINAL
Toronto 119
Boston 98 FINAL
Minnesota 110
Dallas 94 FINAL
Houston 99
Denver 93 FINAL
New Orleans 85
Brooklyn 102 FINAL
Atlanta 113
Oklahoma City 92 FINAL
New York 100
Charlotte 86 FINAL
San Antonio 95
LA Clippers 94 FINAL
Utah 89
Washington 98 FINAL
Phoenix 106
Toronto 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Pittsburgh 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Chicago 3 FINAL
Los Angeles 4
Temple 86 FINAL
UCF 62
Winthrop 75 FINAL
Coastal Carolina 68
Lafayette 59 FINAL
Colgate 54
Northeastern 60 FINAL
Drexel 65
Wake Forest 76 FINAL
Florida State 82
Rhode Island 64 FINAL
Fordham 63
Delaware 82 FINAL
James Madison 88
South Carolina 58 FINAL
LSU 64
New Hampshire 63 FINAL
Maine 58
Seton Hall 80 FINAL
Marquette 70
Binghamton 68 FINAL
UMBC 56
American Univ 54 FINAL
Navy 64
Elon 65 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 82
Wright State 76 FINAL
Oakland 84
Minnesota 58 FINAL
Penn State 63
Duquesne 55 FINAL
Richmond 86
SMU 63 FINAL
South Florida 52
Hartford 66 FINAL
Stony Brook 72
Albany 47 FINAL
Vermont 44
Hofstra 79 FINAL
William & Mary 100
UNC-Asheville 74 FINAL
Longwood 64
Radford 84 FINAL
Char Southern 77
Holy Cross 0 Postponed
Loyola-Maryland 0
Duke 73 FINAL
Notre Dame 77
Texas Tech 36 FINAL
Oklahoma 81
Oregon State 55 FINAL
Arizona State 73
Morehead State 82 FINAL
Austin Peay 69
Drake 69 FINAL
Bradley 57
Lehigh 62 FINAL
Bucknell 68
Rice 48 FINAL
Houston 59
Missouri State 57 FINAL
Illinois State 67
Loyola-Chicago 47 FINAL
Wichita State 58
Nebraska Omaha 64 FINAL
South Dakota St 86
Northern Iowa 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
Louisville 81 FINAL
Boston College 72
St Johns 74 FINAL
Creighton 77
East Carolina 58 FINAL
Memphis 70
Georgia Tech 70 FINAL
Miami-Florida 50
Miss State 73 FINAL
Ole Miss 79
Clemson 68 FINAL
NC State 57
Indiana 67 FINAL
Purdue 83
Kansas 64 FINAL
TCU 61
Oregon 56 FINAL
Arizona 90
Air Force 66 FINAL
San Jose St 52
Stanford 84 FINAL
Washington 74
Rider 56 FINAL
Siena 49
Dayton 76 FINAL
Richmond 62
Eastern Kentucky 53 FINAL
Jacksonville St 73
Saint Josephs 0 Postponed
Saint Louis 0
UMBC 71 FINAL
Binghamton 55
Akron 60 FINAL
Ohio U 72
Ball State 72 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 55
Memphis 56 FINAL
Cincinnati 44
East Carolina 32 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 87
Murray State 59 FINAL
Eastern Illinois 75
Kent State 63 FINAL
Central Michigan 65
UT Martin 64 FINAL
Tennessee St 58
Eastern Michigan 56 FINAL
Western Mich 83
Bucknell 61 FINAL
Lehigh 76
Indiana 57 FINAL
Michigan State 72
Colgate 56 FINAL
Lafayette 58
Fordham 66 FINAL
Davidson 45
Duquesne 76 FINAL
St Bonaventure 64
George Mason 66 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 70
Detroit 59 FINAL
Youngstown St 58
Army 0 Postponed
Boston U 0
Loyola-Maryland 0 Postponed
Holy Cross 0
SMU 58 FINAL
Tulsa 74
Oklahoma St 54 FINAL
Kansas State 52
West Virginia 57 FINAL
Texas Tech 73
Denver 56 FINAL
South Dakota 82
Northwestern St 46 FINAL
Central Arkansas 63
Austin Peay 67 FINAL
SIU-Edwardsville 87
Kansas 61 FINAL
Iowa State 56
Bowling Green 50 FINAL
Northern Ill 67
Penn State 64 FINAL
Minnesota 75
San Jose St 80 FINAL
Air Force 83
Boise State 82 FINAL
Colorado State 83
Utah State 51 FINAL
Wyoming 86
San Diego State 50 FINAL
Fresno State 57
Nevada 52 FINAL
UNLV 75

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What chance does the Wild have of making the playoffs?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT