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Minnesota escapes Loyola Marymount 67-64

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NCAA Basketball: Green Bay at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota defeated their new rival Loyola Marymount 67-64 in the second game of a back to back at Williams Arena. With the win the Gophers are now 3-0 on the season. Marcus Carr led all scorers with 26 points.

Playing the same team in a back to back is an odd situation in college basketball. Playing a back to back against the same non-conference team has never happened before.*

Minnesota looked lethargic at times in the first half, but still entered the break up 31-26. The Gophers made just 39% of their shots from the field and just 2-8 from distance. Marcus Carr was 1-7 from the field while Gabe Kalscheur went 1-5. The Gophers also turned the ball over 9 times, wasting possessions. Minnesota’s depth shone through in the first half because the frontcourt starters could not avoid picking up weak fouls. To be clear, these were weak fouls to give, not weak calls by officials.

In the second half, the Gophers failed to pull away. LMU continued to hang in and the Gophers continued to commit fouls. Fortunately, at just the moment where one might expect Minnesota to curl up and die, Gabe Kalscheur got multiple defensive stops and Marcus Carr converted multiple opportunities. That set up the game winning play.

Notes

Again, it is a good thing that there is depth in the frontcourt because the fouling from the bigs is a thing through three games. Three bigs had picked up four fouls with eight minutes left in the game. Non-conference games against the same opponent are never easy, but there is no excuse for the high foul rates.

Marcus Carr had 26 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a steal. 21 of those points came in the second half. Carr is extremely good at basketball and the main reason offensively that Minnesota scrapped its way to a win tonight.

Gabe Kalscheur continues his horrid shooting performance from the field, going 1-11 tonight and 0-4 from distance. That’s very bad. His defense though remains very good, and he had multiple key possessions tonight on the defensive end of the floor. In a grinder, those are winning plays. I just wish that he could have 4 or 5 winning plays on offense as well.

Both Gach committed the cardinal sin of not throwing an alley oop to a wide open Jarvis Omersa.

Minnesota next plays the University of North Dakota on Friday at 8pm at Williams Arena

* We think. We didn’t spend that much time researching.