That was closer than it should have been, but the Gophers took care of business when it matter most. A few quick thoughts before a full review tomorrow:

  • This close win is probably more meaningful in the long run than any blow-out would have been. The Gophers needed a confidence boost, especially in a close game. After three close losses in November, they may have felt cursed. Now they know they can win a close game.
  • The Gophers probably shouldn’t have won. They were out-shot, out-rebounded, couldn’t make free throws, and anyone who wasn’t a guard essentially took the day off.
  • If there was any thought  that Westbrook’s scoring ability left along with his excess weight, it should be clear now he still has it. He simply outplayed one of the best players in the Big Ten.
  • Maybe Minnesota’s offense isn’t so balanced after all. After Westbrook’s 29 and Hoffarber’s 11, no one scored more than 7 points.
  • The press is back, forcing ten (or so) second half turnovers and keeping Penn State off balance on offense.
  • I may never write this again, but I am thankful for Sid Hartman. He dragged (well, as much as a 90 year old can drag anyone) Clem Haskins on to the court. It was an emotional moment and clearly meant  a lot to the 1989 elite eight team which was honored at half time.
  • The perimeter defense is lacking more due to mental lapses than any systemic issues. Talor Battle was left too open far too often.
  • It is always refreshing to be reminded that The Barn can still be a very hostile environment, even after months of bad and boring basketball.

2 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts: Gophers 75 – Penn State 70

  1. You think you guys were outplayed and outrebounded? For the first 15 minutes and last 7 or so, we were cursing our inability to stop anything you wanted to do on offense and our inability to hold on to the ball. I was shocked you didn’t run away with it early. And I wouldn’t stay Westbrook really outplayed Talor, it was just that he was getting a ton of wide open shots while your defense stifled Talor. He was getting open looks from 30 feet, Westbrook’s were open threes in the corner. All in all, I thought it was a good game for both teams, and I didn’t expect to come that close in the Barn. Good luck with the rest of the season.

  2. Last night was a victory for attractive college basketball. Both teams shot well, played decent defense (note: the score was 75-70, not some 95-90 game where both teams don’t try to stop each other), and overall put on a good show. Westbrook and Battle were brilliant and Blake hit several nice shots in the clutch when we were down.

    Overall a great win for the Gophs, especially with Damien being a non-factor most of the game. My major complaint is that Nolen needs to drive and dish against guards where he has a quickness advantage, which is just about everyone in the Big Ten besides Lucas.

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