The Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s basketball team was happy to hear pregame names called from a familiar voice, out of a familiar speaker at Williams Arena this afternoon, as they took to the raised hardwood vs the undefeated #7 Michigan Wolverines.
Saturday’s game was Minnesota’s 15th of the season and they had yet to lose at home (10-0) and were winless (0-4) on the road. But we’ll worry about those road woes another time because today… we’re celebrating another HUGE home victory!
Michigan Slow Out of Gates
The first half of this contest was all Golden Gophers. The Wolverines struggled from the field early and Minnesota was able to take advantage. Liam Robbins worked for all 6 of his points and 4 of his rebounds.
Michigan’s freshman center, Hunter Dickinson, is a load and he can ball. But, Robbins and the Gophers held him to just 5 points and 2 rebounds in that first 20 minutes.
Brandon Johnson and Eric Curry contributed with their own baskets, while Marcus Carr struggled to find his rhythm again (2/9). The Gopher offense was at its best, however, when Carr was getting to the rim. He did finish the half with 3 assists and 3 rebounds.
When the dust settled on the first half, the Gophers went into the locker room with a 7-point (30-23) lead.
Hard at work. pic.twitter.com/sFoLPS6BWF— Minnesota Men's Basketball (@GopherMBB) January 16, 2021
Liam Robbins dominates 2nd Half
On the road, the Minnesota Gophers have come out of halftimes like they napped for the entire 15 minutes. At home, just like today against the Wolverines, they like to pounce on opponents.
The second half on Saturday was driven by the play of Liam Robbins, with Brandon Johnson and Gabe Kalscheur playing more than capable wing men. Liam was completely dominant, adding 16 points (22 total), 4 more (8) rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 16, 2021
After a bit of early foul trouble, Robbins finished the game with just 3 of total. It was his best game of the season… and he’s been really good all year. He had Hunter Dickinson crying on the sideline by the end of the game… or that’s what I saw at least.
Marcus Carr up and down day
Marcus Carr was good today when he was playing good basketball. He took some really stupid shots, but when that man has a desire to get to the rim, there isn’t a better point guard in this country.
Marcus Carr's doing Marcus Carr things today. 💪 pic.twitter.com/xwxVvTCO6R— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) January 16, 2021
And defenses have to commit so much attention to him that there are always teammates open when he has the basketball. This Gopher team has a lot of talent and can really go as far as Marcus Carr takes them.
He doesn’t have to wear the Superman cape this year, however. The smarter he plays, the farther this team will go.
Easier schedule upcoming
Home or away, this was a massive win for the Gophers and one they badly needed. Now, they’ll enter a much easier portion of their schedule and they can feel good about their 11-4 (4-4) record.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan