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Rapid Reaction: Gophers fall to Indiana 75-71

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First game without Lynch and Coffey doesn’t go well

In a game that realistically illustrated what the Gophers were dealing with now that their roster is in upheaval, they came up short against a bad Indiana Hoosiers team at home 75-71.

Reggie Lynch is gone and likely not coming back. Amir Coffey was a late scratch due to a shoulder injury that leaves his near-term status up in the air. That left the Gophers with a lineup of Nate Mason, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer and a collection of bench players who barely see the court.

It went about as well as you’d expect. Maybe slightly better, considering they were actually winning with less than three minutes left.

The three starters carried the majority of the scoring load, dropping 58 of the team’s 71 points, in a valiant effort. Mason went superman down the stretch as he tallied 22 points, but without any additional support the team just couldn’t get over the hump.

They were in position to tie or even take the lead late in the game, but a few missed free throws sealed their fate, and an unorganized, hurried final position doomed them to the loss column.

The two other starters, Bakary Konate and Michael Hurt, combined for two total shots in 58 minutes, which is amazing in itself. The two were essentially invisible.

The game was a good barometer in the sense that we got to see how the team played in its new reality. One that doesn’t include Lynch or Coffey. The outlook is grim for Lynch, but for Coffey its anyone’s guess whether he’ll be out for two weeks or several months. Shoulders are tricky things.

At the end of the day, a loss to Indiana at home is about as bad as it gets. The Hoosiers are bad, and losing to them now doesn’t suggest anything positive the rest of the way for Minnesota. And unless Coffey comes back soon, this season could be lost in a hurry.

Notes:

  • Jordan Murphy grabbed a rebound in the waning seconds to capture his 17th-straight double double to start the season, tying an ages old record held by Tim Duncan. It’s truly an amazing feat. He finished the game with 18 points, 10 boards and 3 steals.
  • Mason nearly notched a double double with assists, tallying nine.
  • McBrayer had a very efficient game, hitting seven of his 13 shots en route to a season high 18 points.
  • Gonna need way more from Michael Hurt this year. He played 31 minutes and attempted one shot.