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: Bruesewitz turnover aided a much-needed Minnesota win

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: February 14, 2013 - 11:33 PM

Rodney Williams has known Mike Bruesewitz for the better part of his basketball life, so in a moment of need, he didn’t fall short on strategies to distract.

As Bruesewitz gripped the game in his hands – outside the baseline and preparing for an inbounds pass with 22 seconds remaining – Rodney Williams started talking smack.

He needled his old friend, a St. Paul native, on whether he really thought the Austin Hollins charge that had given him the ball was a good call. He asked him – was he sure?

“The idea was definitely to get into his head,” Williams said.

His mission may have worked. Bruesewitz, who had just been reminded by the referee that he couldn’t walk with the ball, started doing just that, automatically ending the Badgers’ possession.

To his credit, Bruesewitz took all responsibility for the mental slip.

“I messed it up,” he said. “I knew I shouldn’t have moved. We had a timeout and I knew it was getting close (to a 5-second call). I tried to step and took one too many … I’ve been in that position 100 times, if not more. I’ve done it enough in practice when you can’t move. I just took one too many steps. I was trying to get a better angle to get the ball into Jared. They called it and that was the game.”

From there Joe Coleman turned a broken play into a drive to the basket, getting fouled and making his two shots to send the game to overtime.

It was a momentum shift that wouldn’t be threatened in the extra session, with Wisconsin failing to make a basket until the last ten seconds.

Afterward, it was like a cloud had lifted in the locker room, with the players all seemingly taking a collective sigh of relief.

Coach Tubby Smith – who was downright giddy at the podium afterward, wishing everyone a Happy Valentines Day – best wrapped up the Gophers’ feelings when asked by a Wisconsin reporter what a game that hurt the Badgers’ title hopes meant to the home team:

“They wanted it, but we had to have it,” Smith said.

Other notes on tonight’s 58-53 OT win:

  • It wasn’t pretty, and let’s be honest – the got lucky with the Bruesewitz deal -- but given the opportunity to retake the momentum, Gophers were impressively clutch, both with the Coleman play/free throws and their quick OT dominance.
  • One of the most positive takeaways from the game for the Gophers was their stingy defense down the stretch. Minnesota held the Badgers without a basket for the final 6:11 of regulation and until the final ten seconds of overtime. “We had gotten away from playing good defense,” Smith said. “I don’t know why – we’ve been working on it. It’s a combination of things … our ball pressure hadn’t been very good, it was better tonight than it had been in a while, and just the team concept of being in the right spot, being ready to help.”
  • Andre Hollins took over down the stretch for the Gophers, something they vastly needed in a game where no one had really stepped up very big early on. “I’m the best shooter on the team, so the coaches wanted me to shoot, they wanted me to be a little more aggressive and take some more shots,” he said.
  • Rodney Williams had his left shoulder iced after the game, explaining that he re-tweaked the injury when he was fouled with 11 minutes remaining in the game. “My arm got pulled back pretty far, but I just went out there and played, I didn’t think about it too much,” he said. Williams – who didn’t play at all in the Illinois game, originally injured the shoulder in a practice last week.
  • Smith on Williams’ shoulder: “He looked like he was favoring it, he was holding his shorts. I kept asking ‘Are you alright?’ And he said he was fine and I said ‘Well, quit grabbing your shorts and play.’ But he did a good job because he is still sore. And that tells you a lot.”
  • The Gophers played Ke$ha's "Die Young" in the locker room after the win. Wisconsin made headlines this week with a video of the players dancing to the song in celebration of their win over Michigan. Asked whether the team was having some fun at the expense of their rivals, Mbakwe just smiled and said "No comment."



Team Irvin 9 1st Qtr 0:34
Team Carter 13
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 83 4th Qtr 10:02
Toronto 91
Milwaukee 69 4th Qtr 11:28
San Antonio 69
Boston 34 2nd Qtr 5:34
Golden State 37
Washington 42 2nd Qtr 5:59
Denver 42
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 2nd Half 0:36
Tennessee St 54
Creighton 45 2nd Half 3:20
Villanova 67
Northwestern 42 2nd Half 16:42
Maryland 35
Washington 7 1st Half 14:05
Utah 16
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 36 1st Half 1:40
USC 23
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