“The way that he shot it I don’t know if I envisioned that. But he’s a great kid, he deserves success and sometimes you just have to get lucky. We haven’t been really lucky around here,” Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino said.
At one point the Huskies enjoyed the benefit of a 9 point lead and seemingly in control, before the Golden Gophers chipped away and slowly got back into the game.
In the first half, both teams struggled mightily to put the ball in the basket, with several droughts of scoreless basketball.
Minnesota went on a 6:00 minute stretch where they didn’t make a basket from the field, and were hampered by the Huskies 2-3 zone.
The Huskies finished the first half with zero made shots from behind the arc at 0 for 7, and searching for a spark.
One bright spot on the night was the stellar play of senior forward Noah Dickerson, who continually kept the Huskies in the game the entire night.
The Golden Gophers had trouble figuring out the Dickerson puzzle as he was able to have his way in the paint.
Dickerson finished the game with a season high 28 points and also chipped in 5 rebounds on the night.
In the second half, the Huskies were able to push the pace and find more of a rhythm offensively.
It seemed as if the Huskies were firmly in control in the final minutes of the game, with a small lead, but were unable to finish.
“When it left his hand I said ‘He made it,'” Dickerson said. “I (saw) the look in his eyes.”
A couple of loose possessions and lack of execution allowed the Gophers to take the game right out of the Huskies grasp.
“We had a chance to not put ourselves in that position and that’s the frustrating part,” Hopkins said
Minnesota was led on the night by senior forward Jordan Murphy who finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
The Huskies had a game high 17 turnovers for the game and also shot 21.4% from the three-point line at 3 for 14.
“The ball stopped. We didn’t get a lot of flow, didn’t get a lot of movement,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said of the offensive issues late. “They were killing us inside and then they were just beating us down court later in the game. We still had the one-point lead. … We’ve got to learn from it and move forward.”
Overall, the Huskies finished the Vancouver Showcase tournament with a 2-1 record with wins over Santa Clara and Texas A&M.
The Huskies (4-2), return to the court next week for a home game against the Eastern Washington Eagles. The game will be played Tuesday, November 27th at 6:00pm PST at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle, Washington. It will mark the start of a two game home stand for the Huskies, before they head on the road to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs.