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.

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Postgame: Gophers start out the Big Ten season with a win over Michigan State

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: January 1, 2013 - 1:06 PM

What a start to the Big Ten season.

As I’ve said, I thought Michigan State was a good matchup for the first game of the conference schedule because I believed the Gophers were capable of beating them, yet doing so would give them a wave of hype and confidence to take forward because of the reputation that the Spartans have.

Michigan State showed that strength on Monday, refusing to be put in the rearview and making a big comeback from the end of the first half through the start of the second, but Minnesota showed a sort of poise that mostly absent a year ago.

Down by five with 9:22 to go, the Gophers started a steady comeback. They led by 1 with three minutes remaining when Andre Hollins took over. The sophomore guard instigated a 12-0 finishing run that featured six points from him as well as an impressive play from Austin Hollins and Mbakwe, who snatched a steal, then started a three-pass back-and-forth break with Hollins, who slammed it home to put Minnesota up by seven.

“We just didn’t panic,” Andre Hollins said. “We knew it was going to be a close game … we knew we just had to keep our composure and focus on the little things and start executing.”

Wow. There were plenty of things to be impressed with in this game, not the least being the crowd of 14,625, which was probably the loudest I’ve ever heard there.

Some other notes on the 76-63 win over Michigan State:

  • It’s hard to criticize the starting five at all, but Trevor Mbakwe and Andre Hollins were particularly impressive today. I thought Hollins showed real leadership down the stretch and made some really nice passes– we’re watching him become a point guard in front of our eyes. Mbakwe, on the other hand, played without his knee brace for the first time and looked convincing in one of his most explosive outings of the year. He was just playing tough all game, not taking off a single play. Very encouraging performances from those two.
  • RE the brace, Mbakwe said: “I don’t want people thinking about my knee anymore. I’m glad that’s over with. I’ll probably throw it away. (kidding) I don’t think our trainer would be too happy about that. Those things cost a lot of money.”
  • A stunning percentage of the offense (for the Gophers) came from the starters. Andre Hollins (22), Rodney Williams (15), Austin Hollins (12), Mbakwe (11) and Joe Coleman (8) combined for 68 of the Gophers’ 76 points, good for 89 percent of Minnesota’s scoring. Only Julian Welch (4) and Oto Osenieks (4) scored off the bench, all of their efforts in the first half.
  • Smith played a much shorter bench than usual in the second half, playing only Maverick Ahanmisi, Julian Welch, Andre Ingram and Elliott Eliason for one quick stretch in that period. The bench didn’t score at all in the second.
  • The Gophers had some excruciating struggles with botched in-bounds passes in the second, goofing up six times in a row in one stretch. Coach Tubby Smith blamed the lapses on Michigan State’s 2-3 zone they used some in the final half. “They take a lot of those angles and gaps away from you, so were having a lot of trouble, and then they’re so long and athletic,” Smith said. “We laid some very weak cuts at the time because they had no one really on the ball, pressuring the ball, but now five guys are guarding four guys.”
  • In general, turnovers continued to be a big problem for the Gophers, who turned the ball over eight times in the first 8:05 of second half play, which Michigan State cashed in for 7 points (they had 14 points off turnovers overall). Minnesota stopped turning over the ball completely from there, but 16 miscues is just too many for the Gophers to be consistently successful in this league.
  • On today’s crowd at Williams arena, Andre Hollins said: “That was the loudest I’ve ever heard the Barn. That was great. Got my blood flowing.”
  • Smith was asked where he sees the Gophers going after watching today’s win. “I’m not a prognosticator,” he said. "We’ve got to be better. If we can get better off today’s game then the sky’s the limit.”



San Francisco - M. Bumgarner 7:07 PM
Pittsburgh - E. Volquez
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington 6:00 PM
Carolina 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Montreal 7:30 PM
Arizona 8:00 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




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