After a demoralizing defeat, Minnesota will try to bounce back when it hosts South Carolina Upstate on Saturday afternoon in Minneapolis.
Minnesota (2-1) is coming off a 70-68 loss at home against Missouri on Thursday night. The Golden Gophers led by as many as 20 points in the second half before allowing the Tigers to close the game on a 31-9 run.
The loss left Minnesota coach Ben Johnson searching for answers. The Gophers did not trail until there were only 9.9 seconds remaining, and players seemed stunned as the buzzer sounded.
“As a staff, we have to look at the film and see what I can do better to help these guys out,” Johnson said. “What did we do to kind of let it snowball? Was it something we ran or didn’t run?”
South Carolina Upstate (2-2) is feeling much better as it enters the weekend. The Spartans are coming off an 83-81 win on the road Wednesday against East Carolina.
Trae Broadnax scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds for South Carolina Upstate, which has won back-to-back games. Justin Bailey finished with 19 points.
Spartans coach Dave Dickerson praised his team for its effort on a road trip that continues Saturday.
“It was an unbelievable win,” Dickerson said. “I’m so happy for our guys, so happy for our coaches. Everyone is working their butt off on this trip. We left home on Tuesday. We’re not going to be back in Spartanburg until (next Wednesday). We were just road warriors tonight.”
Minnesota is led by Dawson Garcia, who is averaging 20.3 points and 9.7 rebounds through his first three games of the season. Isaiah Ihnen is next with 12.7 points per contest.
One player who will look to improve upon his last game is freshman Cam Christie. He scored 18 points in his collegiate debut against UTSA, but he struggled against Missouri as he missed all four of his field-goal attempts, including two missed 3-point attempts in the late stages.
“He’s going to bounce back,” Garcia said.
–Field Level Media
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