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Minnesota Beats UNCW 108-82

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The Gophers finished non-conference play 11-2.

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Recap

Minnesota beat UNC-Wilmington 108-82 today at Williams Arena. The Gophers improved to 11-2 on the season. Minnesota scored more than 80 points for the seventh straight game. After a hot shooting start from UNCW, Minnesota found itself down 8 with 7:27 to play in the first half. Minnesota responded with a 31-7 run to close out the first half and cruised to victory. Five Gophers finished in double figures. Carlos Morris led all scorers with 24 points on 8-15 shooting and 7-7 from the free throw line.

Stat of the Game

20. The number of turnovers committed by UNCW. It's hard to emphasize just how much the Gophers have bought into Richard Pitino's defensive system. Minnesota has the ability to harass teams all the way down the floor. When the Gophers needed to, they were able to eliminate almost all good shooting opportunities for the Seahawks.

Turning Point

The Gophers struggled early to defend in the half court. If UNCW could get the ball across half court, the Seahawks were able to consistently find wide open shooters. This happened almost entirely because of poor communication and sloppy rotations by Minnesota. With 7:27 to play, the Seahawks had 31 points. At this point one of TDG's fearless leaders went to get a sandwich.

That's right, TDG's dominance extends into the sandwich game. It remains unclear what kind of sandwich was made, but clearly GoAUpher can only eat them for the rest of the season.

Notable

Charles Buggs dreams of being a point forward. Buggs's development has been my favorite part of the season. He's turned into a catch and shoot machine, added highlight reel dunks and passes, and improved on the defensive end. His insertion to the line up sparked Minnesota and occurred at the same time GoAUpher made a sandwich, which I'm sure is just a coincidence. Buggs finished with 13 points (3-3 from deep), 2 rebounds, and 2 very pretty assists.

DeAndre Mathieu is the best point guard in the Big Ten. He may not be the most talented, but everything Minnesota wants to do depends on him having a good game. Today, he finished with 13 points, 11 assists, 4 steals, and no turnovers. Put that stat line in the dictionary under point guard.

Rebounding continues to be a problem for Minnesota. Most of this is execution based. There will be a fun film session showing the many lazy box outs on the defensive end of the floor.

Next Opponent

Big Ten season begins at Purdue on New Year's Eve.