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Gophers Drop Tourney Opener to Marist

11/23/2006, 12:00am CST
By Jason Groth

Gopher Basketball

The Gophers dropped the opening game of the Old Spice Classic to Marist 63-56 Thursday afternoon in Orlando. They face Southern Illinois Friday at 11:40 am on ESPN2 in what figures to be an even more challenging game.

When you hold your opponents to 41% shooting from the field, win the rebounding battle, and only commit 10 turnovers, you're supposed to win. Especially when that opponent is a team many people haven't even heard of. But Minnesota disproved that theory today. That's because the Gopher offense was anemic, shooting just 34% from the field and getting to the free throw line just once. When the Gophers were able to generate some good shot opportunities, they also missed a lot of bunnies.

What we really learned today is that this Gopher team figures to struggle mightily when Spencer Tollackson is not on the court. Spencer was out with a stomach virus today, and that resulted in Minnesota basically having no scoring threat inside. The Gopher offense was mainly limited to contested three-pointers and the occasional drive to the bucket. Minnesota's defense started slow and gave up too many open jumpers overall, but it definitely played well enough to win. Hopefully we'll see the offense improve soon (and hopefully we'll see Spencer back soon as well).

Lawrence McKenzie led the Gophers with 17 points (after a slow start) and 3 assists, and he also grabbed 6 boards. Dan Coleman had a solid game with 15 points and 7 boards. And Limar Wilson finished with a career-best 10 points.

Here's the box score.

Talk about the game on our Gopher Basketball message board.

Tag(s): Gopher Basketball