Throughout the ups and downs for Richard Pitino's Gophers this season, there was a theme that reared its ugly head from beginning to end.
This was Pitino's worst-shooting team during his eight seasons with the program. You couldn't tell his players that, though.
The 13th-seeded Gophers went down with guns blazing from long distance in Thursday's 79-75 loss to Big Ten tournament No. 5 seed Ohio State at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Gophers (14-15), who ranked 340th nationally in three-point percentage, shot 8-for-32 from beyond the arc in their final game. Grabbing 16 offensive rebounds helped give them more opportunities after misses.
"We're clearly a not great-shooting team," Pitino said Thursday. "So we had to get second-chance opportunities."
Marcus Carr, who is likely to enter the NBA draft early again after this season, led Minnesota with 24 points on 7-for-24 shooting, including 4-for-12 on threes in what could have been his last college game.
Pitino, who faces an uncertain future, would be hard pressed looking back to find another squad that had this much confidence in its shooting that didn't have the numbers to back it up.
The Gophers finished the regular season last among high major conference programs in shooting from the field (39.2%) and three (28.4%). Both were school-record lows for a single season, but they attempted the third-most three-pointers (730) in team history.
"No amount of missed shots can deter them from taking three-point shots," Pitino said entering the Big Ten tournament.
Minnesota won ugly against Northwestern 51-46 in Wednesday's tournament opener, the program's fewest points in a win since 2009. Pitino's team shot just 5-for-20 from three that night.
The Buckeyes (19-8), who entered the postseason on a four-game losing streak, weren't equipped for shootouts. They were comfortable grinding it out until the Gophers' bombs started to land with accuracy. Five of Minnesota's threes came in the last 10-plus minutes.
Ohio State led 46-33 when Jamal Mashburn Jr. started a rally with a three. Both Gach and Tre' Williams would also hit from long distance. But Carr hit two threes down the wire, including one to make it 75-74 with 13 seconds left.
In the end, though, Minnesota couldn't shoot its way past the Buckeyes.
Senior's last game
Gophers redshirt senior big man Eric Curry said after the regular season that he wouldn't be playing basketball beyond this year.
Curry, who fought back from major injuries during his career, went scoreless in his last game, but he had two blocks and two steals in 15 minutes.
The 6-9 Memphis native was a member of the U's 2016 recruiting class and the last player on the roster to play on Pitino's first NCAA tournament team in 2017.
"Sitting out all those years and being able to be a players' coach," said Curry, who hopes to be a graduate assistant next season. "That was probably one of my proudest moments here."