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Gophers Battle Back But Fall in Overtime 74-72 to #22 Ohio State

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

A highly entertaining game in which The Barn was vintage "The Barn."

THE FACTS: Ohio State withstood a frantic Gopher comeback and managed to make the plays necessary in overtime to get a nice road win for the Buckeyes.  Minnesota trailed 41-29 at halftime but battled back, eventually tying the game at 62 on a Deandre Matthieu layup.  Maurice Walker and Matthieu lead the way for the Gophers with 18 and 17 points respectively.  Nate Mason played a season high 32 minutes and played very well in what was a tight game.

THE STAT: It would be too easy to go with D'Angelo Russell's big scoring night half but the key stat to me is the 23 Ohio State assists on 31 made baskets.  Shannon Scott was responsible for 10 assists, just missing a double-double with his 9 points.

TURNING POINT: It was really Ohio State's final possession that ended in a Marc Loving basket, assist from Sam Thompson.  But this possession was all too similar to all other critical OSU possessions that resulted in an easy basket.  Too often there was a Gopher lapse defensively allowing easy dunk or lay-ups for Ohio State.

HOT: D'Angelo Russell scoring 25 of his team's 39 first half points. The true freshman was virtually unstoppable and rarely missed.  The kid was hot and he was letting whoever was guarding him know it.  In the second half the Gophers were rather physical with Russell and held him in check with just 2 points in the second half and OT.

NOT: Carlos Morris continued to make poor decisions offensively and it was his defensive inattentiveness that saw him sitting for the majority of the second half in lieu of Nate Mason.

NOTABLE: The Gophers have opened the Big Ten season with an 0-3 record and a lot of work to do over the next 15 games.

UP NEXT: a trip to Michigan on Saturday.  The Wolverines have struggled this year but another road game for the Gophers is going to make that first Big Ten win rather difficult.