Petteway, Nebraska top Gophers despite Malik Smith's slick shooting

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 27, 2014 - 6:34 AM

A porous Gophers defense spoiled a 29-point outburst by Andre Hollins’ replacement, Malik Smith.

view larger photos


– In his first start as a Gopher, Malik Smith looked more than ready to fill injured guard Andre Hollins’ shoes.

Unfortunately for the Gophers men’s basketball team, until the final minutes no one else in maroon and gold did in an 82-78 loss to Nebraska on Sunday at the new Pinnacle Bank Area.

Smith, the transfer from Florida International, had a stellar performance, matching a career high with 29 points and tying a school record with eight three-pointers. He also had no turnovers. But as a whole, the Gophers showed in painstaking detail how replacing Hollins will require so much more than an aggressive Smith.

Minnesota allowed a Nebraska team that came into the game ranked 10th in the Big Ten in offensive efficiency to shoot 50 percent from the field and make 11 three-pointers. Terran Petteway was particularly damaging, finishing with 35 points on 10-for-15 shooting with four three-pointers.

On the other end, the Gophers (15-6, 4-4) went just 16-for-25 from the free-throw line, had 13 turnovers — nine from point guard DeAndre Mathieu — and only one other Minnesota player joined Smith in double-figure scoring.

“We knew we were going to miss him,” Smith said of Hollins, who severely sprained his left ankle last week against Wisconsin. “We just need everybody to step up, it can’t just be one person. We have to step up collectively, and we didn’t all do that today.”

Incredibly, the Gophers picked up the slack at the very end, storming back from a double-digit deficit to come within two points with 2.7 seconds left after Daquein McNeil followed Petteway’s two missed free throws with a score in transition.

But a game full of defensive deficiencies couldn’t be solved by a handful of sharper minutes. The Gophers were forced to foul Petteway again, and this time the Huskers guard made good on his chance, hitting both free throws and sending Nebraska (10-9, 2-5) to its second Big Ten victory of the year. Its only loss at home this season is a one-point heartbreaker to Michigan.

“There’s a reason why we’re 4-4 in the league,” Pitino said. “We guard vs. Wisconsin. We didn’t do a great job tonight. And you’re going to sit around .500 until you can defend, night in and night out.”

After falling behind by as many as 15 points in the second half, the Gophers began to wake up with just over a minute to play. Mathieu made a three and Austin Hollins and Joey King each made a field goal (Hollins’ was a three) and two free throws before McNeil’s basket.

When the game was over, Pitino entered the locker room unable to muster a tirade, Smith said. Instead, the coach quietly made his disappointment known — a reaction that felt much worse than yelling, Smith said.

Once after beating Ohio State and once after beating Wisconsin, Minnesota has struggled to maintain the momentum, falling by 21 at Iowa after the Buckeyes win and then losing at Nebraska in one of its most sluggish performances of the year in Lincoln.

“I think it shows you how far we have to go as a team to be competitive at a high level,” said center Elliott Eliason, who was beating himself up for his subpar performance in his home state. “We’ve got a long ways to go still. Every time I think we’re there, we do something like, this and it just shows we’re not there.”


  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Nebraska 82, Gophers 78

    Sunday January 26, 2014

  • Gophers postgame: Minnesota needs to find consistency

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    The Gophers dropped a big one at Nebraska, just a few days after the best win of the year, against Wisconsin.

  • Gophers-Nebraska game recap

    Sunday January 26, 2014

    GAME RECAPImpact playerTerran Petteway, NebraskaThe Gophers couldn’t do much to stop the Huskers guard, who finished with 35 points, six...

  • Cornhuskers guard/forward Terran Petteway (5) scrambled for a loose ball with Gophers guard Austin Hollins (20) during Nebraska's 82-78 victory Sunday in Lincoln, Neb. Petteway led all scorers with 35 points.

  • nebraska 82, gophers 78

    Up next: 1 p.m. Saturday vs. Northwestern • Williams Arena • TV: Big Ten Network (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Philadelphia - A. Harang 12:05 PM
Washington - J. Zimmermann
Atlanta - A. Wood 12:07 PM
Toronto - R. Dickey
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 12:08 PM
Detroit - A. Sanchez
Cleveland - D. Salazar 1:10 PM
Minnesota - P. Hughes
Cincinnati - H. Bailey 1:15 PM
St. Louis - C. Martinez
San Diego - T. Ross 1:20 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Baltimore - C. Tillman 3:05 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Milwaukee - K. Lohse 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - J. Locke
Miami - M. Latos 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. deGrom
LA Angels - C. Wilson 6:10 PM
Houston - D. Keuchel
NY Yankees - M. Tanaka 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Oakland - J. Hahn 6:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Arizona - R. De La Rosa 8:05 PM
San Francisco - C. Heston
Colorado - J. Lyles 8:10 PM
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke
Texas - C. Lewis 8:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Washington 11:30 AM
New Orleans 2:30 PM
Golden State
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Dallas 8:30 PM
Minnesota 2:00 PM
St. Louis
Detroit 2:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh 7:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 9:30 PM
Houston 6:00 PM
Orlando City 6:30 PM
Toronto FC 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Seattle 8:00 PM
Vancouver FC 8:30 PM
Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City 9:30 PM
Los Angeles


question of the day

Poll: Who will be the Wild's MVP against St. Louis?

Weekly Question





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