Shorthanded Gophers’ upset big comes up short 61-57 vs. Indiana

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Full Game Recap:

  • First Half: The Gophers began Wednesday with some high-energy basketball, without Dawson Garcia and Pharrel Payne. Thanks to a hot 3/4 7-point start from Jamison Battle, Minnesota led 13-12 heading into the under-12 media timeout. They kept up the pace answering every blow that Indiana had. Thanks to impressive starts from Treyton Thompson and Jaden Henley, they extended the lead to 23-18 with 7 minutes to go in the half. With some more tough minutes from Will Ramberg and Josh Ola-Joseph, Minnesota was able to keep pace with Indiana, trailing 33-30 at the break with only seven scholarship players.

  • Second Half: The Gophers came out for the second half with a lot of the same energy. Treyton Thompson battled down low, but the Indiana lead stayed at 3 heading into the first media timeout of the half. Indiana’s All-America candidate Trayce Jackson-Davis began to take over the game, with 17 points and 15 rebounds the Hoosiers led 45-38 at the 13:22 mark. Right when it looked like Indiana was pulling away, the Gophers fought back. Thanks to a massive sequence from Jamison Battle, Jaden Henley and Taurus Samuels the game was tied at 47 with 9:54 to go. Battle continued to be dialed in for one of his best games of the season, after taking the lead 50-49, Indiana quickly responded with a three of its own. The Gophers’ comeback helped them stick around until the end. Jamison Battle played one of his best games of the season, totaling 20+ points for only the third time this season. Jackson-Davis was ultimately the difference with 25 points and 20 rebounds, as the Gophers lost 61-57.

Instant Reaction:

With Dawson Garcia (bone bruise) and Pharrel Payne (concussion) ruled out pregame, this was always going to be a tough game to leave with any serious thoughts about this team. With that being said, Indiana has played like one of the best teams in the conference over the last two weeks and the Gophers played with them for 40 freaking minutes. You cannot really ask for more from a team without its two best post players against arguably the best post player in the conference.

The positives started with Jamison Battle looking like his old self again with a team-high 20 points on only 16 shots. It was the third time this season he topped 20 points, but tonight he did it on the fewest shots. Treyton Thompson also gave Minnesota some great minutes with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists proving that he deserves a bigger role in this rotation. Overall, Indiana had an All-American with Jackson-Davis and the Gophers did not.

What is Next?:

The Gophers now will travel to Evanston, Illinois to take on a greatly improved Northwestern squad on Saturday at 11 am. The Wildcats are definitely a winable game, but Minnesota will probably need at least one of Garcia and Payne back, especially on the road. This team is certainly challenged personnel-wise, but they’re fighting. Something you love to see, especially with only 7 scholarship players.

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