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Full Game Recap:
- First Half: It was the Hunter Dickinson show to begin Thursday’s contests. Scoring the first seven points for Michigan, Dawson Garcia did his best to answer with four of his own, but the Wolverines led 13-6 heading into the first media timeout. Unfortunately, it got a lot worse before it got any better for the Gophers. Michigan couldn’t miss starting five of five from beyond the arc and Minnesota couldn’t buy a basket beginning one of six from long range. It got as high as a 24-point lead for Michigan. Minnesota closed the half with improved play, but it didn’t do much on the scoreboard, trailing 47-31 heading into the break. Jamison Battle had only 5 points on 2/5 shooting.
Halftime from the Barn#Gophers: 31
— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) December 9, 2022
- Second Half: The second half was much of the same story for the Maroon & Gold. Michigan opened on a 7-0 run and all of the momentum they fought back for was gone. Ta’Lon Cooper and Joshua Ola-Joseph continued to be the only two Gophers to show much heart if any, and Jamison Battle continued to look completely lost offensive, and a shell of himself. They looked un-interested and like they didn’t wanna be there; just going through the emotions. The damage was done 90-75.
This team plays with ZERO substance. They play with ZERO rhythm or flow offensively. It often looks like they stand around waiting for Jamison Battle to do something and when he doesn’t they’re lost. So in a game where he shoots 2-5 in the first half, they look like they’ve never practiced before. Ta’Lon Cooper was the only player who even began to create for himself offensively. I honestly forgot Jamison Battle was playing for much of the game. He played 18 minutes in the second half and shot the ball only (4) times. It was far and above his worst game in a Gophers uniform.
Dawson Garcia scored 13 points and played “well” but it seemed like empty points at the end of the day. Ta’Lon Cooper, Joshua Ola-Joseph, and Pharrel Payne are the only three players that should even be able to wear their uniforms at practice tomorrow. If I were Ben Johnson and Dave Thorsen I am telling my team that we just hit rock bottom. There is truly no way they could’ve played any worse. I believe this is the worst Gophers’ loss of the Ben Johnson era. Their worst loss on the scored board was a 25-point defeat last season to Ohio State, but tonight was one of those games that looked MUCH closer on the scoreboard than it actually was.
What is Next?:
The Gophers will be back at the Barn this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (CST) against a very good Mississippi State team. Kenpom.com ranks the Bulldogs as the 26th-best team in the country and they’ve yet to suffer a loss this season (8-0). Then Minnesota will get a break with three bottom-of-the-barrel must-win games against Chicago State, Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Alcorn State.
Truthfully, this season could not have started much worse. With a signature win against Cal Baptist, I don’t know how bad it will get. Last season, Coach Johnson had his team playing competitively, this season they’ve not been competitive against a single major conference team they’ve played. If they’d like to save this season, this team needs to look itself in the mirror and realize they simply need to be better. EVERYONE in the program.