Minnesota defeated Chicago State 58-55 in an early game to avoid the winter storm. The Gophers are now 6-6 on the season. Dawson Garcia led all scorers with 18 points.
Fortunately for everyone the winter storm has not been as bad as predicted, and this game was on BTN+ so no one could watch it. Not that you would have particularly wanted to if available. The Gophers are currently the worst Big 10 team in KenPom’s ranking and Chicago State are a bottom 300 team in the country. No wonder that the conference preferred to show BTN Today and highlights from a Maryland football game in the past instead.
The first half went about as expected from a game where a good result is a win and no injuries. The Gophers shot over 50% from the field, had a lead as great as 15, and were 4-10 from three point range. Jamison Battle was credited for making a basket that was clearly a tipped pass which somehow found its way into the hoop. All told, Minnesota looked like they would cruise to a win and clear the bench at the under 4.
Then the second half happened.
Everyone of the following things happened in the second half and they are all BIG WOOF. The Gophers were 0-10 from distance. Minnesota was 0-4 from the line. As a team, they shot 34% from the field. For over five minutes the Gophers did not score a point, allowing Chicago State to come back to take the lead.
All of that is very bad, and perhaps chief big bad among them is that the Gophers’ offensive identity right now seems to be “IDK maybe Dawson can do something in an ISO.” At some point I believe that the players on the roster will turn into a good basketball team. Unfortunately, I am not sure that time will be until next season.
“Highlights” are here and I use the scare quotes advisedly.
Pharrel Payne only played 13 minutes. Not good for a player who Chicago State did not have a physical answer for.
20 points in a half is no way to go through life son.