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 still a few steps behind the elite

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: January 19, 2014 - 5:03 PM

Read my full story on the Gophers' 94-73 loss at Iowa here.

Gophers fans shouldn't feel terrible about what happened on Sunday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

As they have all year, the Gophers showed plenty of bright spots worth being excited about going forward.

Perhaps, though, the loss was as clear as sign as ever that Minnesota is still several notches below the truly elite teams of the Big Ten.

One game after beating No. 11 Ohio State to earn their first real signature victory, the Gophers looked intriguing still, but very human. Minnesota was impressive in building a 10-point lead in the first half, with Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins looking like their old dominant selves, and the Gophers excelling despite Elliott Eliason and Mo Walker sitting on the bench for long stretches due to foul trouble. But with 1:13 remaining before halftime, that double-digit advantage slipped to just two at the break. When Iowa came back in the second, they carried the momentum with them, with Devyn Marble going off for nine points in the first 2:05 and the Hawkeyes rolling with one of the most efficient offenses in college basketball. 

From there, the Gophers simply couldn't get the stops they needed -- showing us once more that the defense is still a ways from where it needs to consistently be for Minnesota to take the next step.

Make no mistake, this was not last year's game, when the Gophers got a 21-5 lead to start the game before crumbling into a nearly 20-point loss. The Gophers stopped playing in that one -- they appeared to accept their fate long before the final buzzer dictated it.

That wasn't the case on Sunday. Minnesota kept battling and fighting -- but they simply got beat. Iowa has improved dramatically since last season, a jump that was on full display at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Perhaps coach Richard Pitino summed it up best.

"Against Michigan State, I felt like we made a lot of mistakes," he said. "I think [Iowa] just totally kicked our butt."

More notes from today's loss:

*Austin Hollins showed encouraging signs that he's broken out of his slump, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and five steals in a terrific performance. Without his efforts, the Gophers likely wouldn't have had a lead to lose. Still, it was hard for Hollins to be too relieved after the loss. "It felt good," he said. "But it doesn't matter if we don't win, that's the most important thing."

*Iowa had five players finish with double digit points: Aaron White, Devyn Marble, Mike Gesell, Gabriel Olaseni and Josh Oglesby, highlighting their depth. "They keep coming with guys. They've done a great job of recruiting and you look, as they go deeper and deeper into their bench, there is no drop-off." The Hawkeyes had 43 points off their bench.

*The Gophers complete their hellacious stretch of four consecutive top-15 teams on Wednesday, with No. 3 Wisconsin at home. So far, they've got 1-2 in that stretch.

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Tennessee 10 3rd Qtr 4:21
Jacksonville 14
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 81 4th Qtr 6:12
Chicago 87
New Orleans 63 3rd Qtr 0:50
Houston 65
Milwaukee 4 1st Qtr 8:08
Sacramento 16
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
Golden State
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 1 3rd Prd 13:51
Montreal 1
St. Louis 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Edmonton 9:30 PM
San Jose
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 46 2nd Half 2:15
South Dakota 49
LSU 56 2nd Half 12:34
UAB 49
Ohio 48 2nd Half 15:49
Evansville 44
CS-Dominguez 4 1st Half 11:48
Cal State Fullerton 5
Walla Walla 0 1st Half 19:20
Idaho 0
DePaul 6 1st Half 14:06
Oregon State 15
Nevada 6 1st Half 12:57
Pacific 7
Portland State 9 1st Half 11:56
San Francisco 10
CS-Bakersfield 9:15 PM
Utah State
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
Samford 56 2nd Half 0:23
Tulane 57
CS-Northridge 72 2nd Half 0:47
Northern Ariz 68
Santa Clara 52 2nd Half 11:35
Oregon 44
(19) Oklahoma St 32 2nd Half 15:33
Weber State 28
Washington 42 2nd Half 12:14
San Diego State 30
Cal Poly 46 2nd Half 12:20
New Mexico 55
(10) Louisville 44 2nd Half 12:34
Grand Canyon 31
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<
Gophers Football 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 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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