Gophers fall to Michigan; slow start costly again

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 18, 2013 - 11:52 AM

Minnesota staged a second-half rally against a top-10 team for the second game in a row but couldn't catch Michigan.

All season long, coach Tubby Smith has lauded this Gophers team as the one with the most chemistry, the one that's worked the hardest, the one with the most heart in his six seasons at Minnesota.

So when he sat, shaking his head on the podium, after the Gophers' second consecutive loss featuring a ragged start and a not-quite-enough comeback, the confusion and frustration could be heard in his voice.

No. 5 Michigan stopped No. 9 Minnesota 83-75 at Williams Arena on Thursday night -- with the Gophers exhibiting weak defense, poor communication and an apparent half-hearted effort for a considerable stretch -- one day after a puzzling lackluster effort at practice.

"I was disappointed in our practice [Wednesday], to be honest with you, in the defensive effort, especially in our starting group, and it showed today -- it raised its ugly head," Smith said. "There's no reason to panic, but I'm just really disappointed in two games. ... And trying to make a comeback, that's just a -- well, I really don't know what to call it. It's just disappointing."

For the second game in a row, the Gophers (15-3, 3-2 Big Ten) tried to rely on late energy and a final surge to salvage a victory. For the second game in a row, they came up short.

After falling behind by 19 early in the second half, the Gophers pushed within seven at 77-70 on a Rodney Williams dunk with 2:39 to go, erasing a huge deficit as they had in Saturday's 88-81 loss at Indiana.

But once again, to the dismay of the sellout crowd announced at 14,625, the Gophers didn't have enough time -- or poise -- to get the job done, missing some easy baskets and missing seven of their final 16 free throws.

"I think we stopped being aggressive, and once we turned into a passive team, then mistakes happened," said senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds and five of the Gophers' six blocked shots.

All of the last-minute details were simply a footnote to another poor stretch of play from Minnesota.

The Gophers trailed 29-26 with 4:52 left in the first half after junior guard Austin Hollins -- who was the true highlight of Minnesota's night with 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and no turnovers -- made two early three-pointers and a layup, and Julian Welch, playing the bulk of the first half after sophomore point guard Andre Hollins sat out after drawing his second foul with 13:35 remaining in the first half, kept the Gophers afloat with precise shooting.

But a hot Tim Hardaway Jr., who led Michigan (17-1, 4-1) with 21 points and hit four first-half three-pointers, and 10 Gophers turnovers kept Minnesota at bay, and the Wolverines led 36-30 at the break.

The Gophers' lackluster play carried over to the second half, when with Williams all but absent until the final minutes the Gophers fell behind 58-39 with 12:33 to play.

Michigan sophomore point guard Trey Burke (18 points, nine assists) found a way to bruise the Gophers almost every time down the floor, whether it was by driving, shooting or passing for a score.

"We had a lot of miscommunications on defense, a lot of things that don't usually happen to us," Williams said.

The last-minute gritty play and narrowing of the final margin wasn't enough to make up for the Gophers' earlier faults, and it wasn't enough to impress Smith or any of the players who sullenly answered questions afterward.

"At the end of the day, we're right there with those teams and you just take away the little mistakes that we had and it's a whole different ballgame," Andre Hollins said. "But at the same time, you can't be satisfied with our play right now."

  • (5) MICHIGAN 83, (9) MINNESOTA 75

    Up next: 8 p.m. Wednesday at Northwestern • TV: Big Ten Network (1500-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: C. Frias 2 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. De La Rosa 16
San Francisco - WP: S. Romo 4 FINAL
Arizona - LP: A. Reed 2
Boston - LP: C. Buchholz 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 9
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Norris 6
Washington - LP: R. Detwiler 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: A. Wood 3
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 4 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 3
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: A. Cobb 2
Cincinnati - LP: D. Corcino 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: K. Hendricks 3
Chicago WSox - LP: C. Sale 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: Y. Ventura 6
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 2 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 0
Detroit - LP: D. Price 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: K. Gibson 8
Milwaukee - LP: M. Fiers 0 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: A. Wainwright 2
Seattle 0 Top 8th Inning
LA Angels 5
Texas 0 Bottom 7th Inning
Oakland 1
Philadelphia 5 Bottom 8th 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
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close