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Minnesota Basketball loses to Miami, Final Score 86-81

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Losing Dupree McBrayer to injury before the game put Minnesota in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

NCAA Basketball: the Barclays Classic-Alabama vs Minnesota Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Gophers lost to Miami, 86-81 tonight. Minnesota played without the talents of Dupree McBrayer, who was announced as out with a leg injury before the game. His absence was noticeable, as Isiah’s Washington’s first start was a rocky one.

The Gophers never seemed to be totally comfortable defending Miami’s penetration on defense. They trailed for most of the game and the game looked pretty close to out of reach when Miami led by 12 with about 9 minutes to go. The Gophers rallied to get it within 4 with under 4 minutes to play, but couldn’t finish the comeback.

Stats of the game

  • Points off turnovers. Minnesota turned the ball over too often (and often stupidly if we’re honest) and Miami took advantage. The Canes scored 17 points off 12 MN turnovers while the Gophers only scored 2.
  • Sour Jelly. Isaiah Washington played like a freshman tonight. He finished the game 5 of 16 from the floor. He started the game 1 of 10 before being taken out for about 10 minutes of game time. His out of control play hurt Minnesota multiple ways as his sometimes wild shots created fast break points for Miami and because once Pitino was forced to sit him Minnesota’s lineup wasn’t able to defend Miami’s quickness as well on the perimeter. Washington should NEVER lead the team in shots right now, but here we are.
  • Miami as an outside shooting team. Miami was not a good outside shooting team coming into this game (34.3%). Tonight? 10 of 25 (40%), including shooting 50% in the 2nd half. It’s hard not to continue to be a little worried about Minnesota’s 3 pt defense, but to be honest Miami also had some crap shots go in. This is definitely a stat to keep an eye on as the season continues.
  • Double/double machine. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but Jordan Murphy had his 8th straight double/double (yes, that’s every game this season). Murph finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

The game was over when...

...Miami stretched the lead back to 9 with under two minutes left in the game.

The biggest takeaway?

As of now, this does not appear to be a team that can handle the loss of Dupree McBrayer. Isaiah Washington will not always play this badly, but it’s clear that he still needs some time to learn to play within himself and the offense. Hopefully whatever is affecting Dupree isn’t serious and he’s back to 100% soon.