The Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team seemed to look poised to have an easy second game of the Big Ten schedule but the Nebraska Cornhuskers had other ideas.
Don’t let the final score fool you, friends. The Minnesota Golden Gophers basketball team did not play well in Lincoln, Nebraska on Tuesday night in a 78-68 loss. On paper, it looked like the Gophers would have an easy start to Big Ten play with a home date with Rutgers and a road trip to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers didn’t roll over to the ranked Gophers though.
The list of wrongs by the Gophers from Tuesday night is long. The Gophers offense couldn’t get anything going, the defense was virtually non-existent for large stretches of the game and Jordan Murphy was virtually unheard from despite his finish with a double-double.
Minnesota is talented enough that Murphy shouldn’t have to be the savior in every game but his performance against Nebraska left a lot to be desired. After starting the season hot, Murphy has cooled tremendously. Murphy finished the game with 10 point and 12 rebounds, but he also couldn’t hold onto the ball.
Frankly, the play of Nate Mason was about the only positive for the Gophers. Mason finished with 20 points including going 3-6 from three-point land. Minnesota looked better with Mason on the court, but foul trouble kept him off the court at times. Foul trouble hampered the Gophers as a whole all game long.
While nothing was falling for the Gophers, everything was falling for Glynn Watson Jr. The Nebraska guard put in 29 points and took advantage of every mistake the Gophers made… he had a lot of opportunities.
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Watson Jr. did look great, but if the Gophers would have played like they have all season long, they would have left Lincoln with a win. But the Gophers bench barely contributed with Isaiah Washington the only bench player scoring with only five points. Reggie Lynch didn’t dominate defensively with only two blocks in the matchup.
Frankly, there was so much wrong with the Gophers that it’s hard to comprehend. The Gophers looked like a team that was poised to sneak into the top ten in the Associated Press poll sometime fairly soon, but if they play like they did against Nebraska, well, they won’t find themselves in the poll for much longer.
The primer for the Big Ten schedule is complete and the conference now goes back to playing non-conference opponents for the rest of the month. Minnesota plays next on Saturday evening when they take on the Arkansas Razorbacks in SEC country.