turning around the close ones
The Gophers’ season hit a low as they lost close games at the start of their Big Ten season. In recent days, however, they have found much improvement in that area. Amelia Rayno breaks down the close ones:
Dec. 31 at Purdue, L 72-68: Lost a 13-point lead and fouled four times in the last 5:28.
Jan. 6 vs. Ohio State, L 74-72 (OT): After charging back from a 12-point deficit, Minnesota lost control on the final possession.
Jan. 10 at Michigan, L 62-57: The Gophers had a nine-point lead but frittered it away after throwing the ball out of bounds eight times.
Jan. 13 vs. Iowa, L 77-75: The Gophers returned from a 17-point gap, but a potentially game-tying layup from DeAndre Mathieu was a fraction of a second too late.
Jan. 20 at Nebraska, L 52-49: The Gophers missed eight of their final 13 free throws and three perimeter shots in a row on their last possession.
Jan. 28 at Penn State, L 63-58: The Gophers turned over the ball three times in the last 47 seconds, and Joey King’s last-ditch shot was blocked.
Feb. 7 vs. Purdue, W 62-58: Mo Walker blocked Vince Edwards’ late layup attempt, Andre Hollins rebounded and hit two free throws on the other end.
Feb. 12 at Iowa, W 64-59: Walker got a critical steal in the Hawkeyes’ last possession, and hit two free throws after getting fouled.
Feb. 18 vs. Northwestern, L 72-66: Only technically a two-possession game: The Wildcats led by as many as nine with 16 seconds left, but Nate Mason’s garbage-time layup just before the buzzer brought it within six.
Feb. 26 at Michigan State, W 96-90 (OT): Carlos Morris hit two threes in the last 28 seconds of regulation and the Gophers went to the free-throw line 20 times in overtime.
Season: 3-7 in close games.