The #21 Minnesota Gophers went into an empty Kohl Center in Madison Wisconsin this afternoon, looking to upset the #6 Badgers. Unfortunately, they left all of their energy and shooting ability back in Minneapolis and got stomped.
Wisconsin held Marcus Carr down all game and denied everything inside. The rest of the Gophers went ice cold and that’s where this game started and ended.
Minnesota shot 19% in the first half but Wisconsin wasn’t very good either. Richard Pitino’s squad must have felt lucky entering halftime down just 29-22. Still, the game was being played at Wisconsin’s pace. Slow, half-court basketball.
The Gopher offensive struggles continued in the 2nd half, while the Badgers caught a bit of fire…. which climaxed into a Badger beatdown of epic proportion. The 12-point final deficit doesn’t reflect how badly Minnesota was dominated in this game, especially in the 2nd half.
— Minnesota Men's Basketball (@GopherMBB) December 31, 2020
Wing shooting continues to hinder Gophers
Richard Pitino can’t expect all of his outside production to come from Marcus Carr and his post players. Gabe Kalscheur, Both Gach, Tre Williams and Isaiah Ihnen will have to start hitting shots more consistently or this Minnesota team will not reach it’s potential.
That’s frustrating too, because they have a lot of it. Gabe Kalscheur did see a few go in tonight… so I am just hoping and praying that’s the start of a turnaround.
When Gophers lose, they do it big.
The Minnesota Gophers are now 9-2 (2-2) on the season and both of their losses have come to teams ranked in the top-15. That’s nothing to get down about.. unless the combined margin of defeat is 39 points. They’re lucky it’s only -39.
|@ Illinois||65-92 (-27)|
|@ Wisconsin||59-71 (-12)|
I don’t really know what to think about this, other than it might be empty-arena related. It’s just difficult to bring energy every single night. If you lack energy and your Big Ten opponent brings it, you’re going to get stomped.
No. The Minnesota Golden Gophers just left their energy and home tonight. Without crowds to fill arenas, you just can’t do that.
We’re in the middle of a gauntlet 7 games vs 7 ranked opponents. So far, the Gophers sit at 2-1. After victories over Iowa and Michigan State, this stumble vs Wisconsin will be quickly overlooked by pollsters if Minnesota can bounce back on Sunday vs #25 Ohio State, back at the barn.
As mentioned, both losses this season have come on the road and there have been moments at Williams Arena where the Gophers have looked like an elite Big Ten team.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan