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Full Game Recap:
- First Half: The Gophers came out with (6’7″) Josh Ola-Joseph on (7’4″) Zach Edey; while Pharrell Payne quickly took JOJ’s spot, the Gophers managed only trailing 6-2 heading into the first media timeout. Edey began to settle in with six points and so did true freshman guard Braden Smith, Minnesota trailed 14-5 heading into the under 12-timeout. The Gophers continued to struggle to find any offensive shooting 3/14 (21.4%) from the field through the first 8+ minutes. Edey, the national player of the year favorite began to find his rhythm with 10 points heading into the last media timeout of the half, while the Gophers were stuck at 9 points. An absolutely abysmal offensive first half continued as Dawson Garcia and Jamison Battle both failed to score. Minnesota trailed 31-12 heading into the half.
- Second Half: The start of the second half was a lot of the same story. Although Dawson Garcia came out with some energy, 3 points, and 3 blocks. Purdue extended its lead to 37-15 very quickly. It was really much of the same for the final 20 minutes of the game, Purdue really didn’t even use Zach Edey and they didn’t need him. Joshua Ola-Joseph added some energy, but that was maybe to only positive you could take from this game. Purdue finished on top 61-39.
Final from the Barn
– #Gophers: 39
– Purdue: 61
— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) January 20, 2023
Purdue is a really good basketball team and Zach Edey should run away with National Player of the Year. With that being said, Minnesota just put together one of the worst basketball games I have seen in quite some time. They look like they forgot how to play offense. Edey wasn’t even that dominant 12 points) and 6 rebounds), but he was impacting just about every shot Minnesota took at the rim, ending with 4 blocks. Minnesota simply did not look like they had practiced together before.
Dawson Garcia had played himself out of the first half with foul trouble and Jamison Battle had his worst game in a Gophers uniform. Battle was held scoreless for the first time in his college career, including his time at George Washington. His 0-9 night shooting from the field is clearly one that he would like to forget. As anyone who has watched this team all season will tell you, this team goes as far as they go. A scoreless first half from both of them would struggle to allow this team to beat Arkansas-Pine Bluff, let alone the third-ranked team in the country. At the end of the day, this result really doesn’t tell you anything about this team that we already didn’t know. Purdue is really good and Minnesota is really bad, something everyone knew before the game.
What is Next?:
The Gophers will now travel on the road for a very winnable matchup with an inconsistent Michigan team Sunday at 12 pm (CST). With Braeden Carrington (right leg stress fracture) out for at least 4 weeks, their depth has gotten even thinner. Knocking off Ohio State on the road seems like months ago at this point, and this is a loss that seems to suck all the momentum they had accrued after that game.
Overall, I don’t think this result tells us anything we didn’t know before the game. Jamison Battle’s back issues were clearly bothering him and Dawson Garcia’s early foul trouble was too much to overcome. Moments like these are when a fan would wish the transfer portal exists mid-season because this team does not have the pieces to consistently compete in the Big Ten.