Friday, January 16, 2009

Bo's Boys lose to Gophers in OT


The way the Minnesota men's basketball team rallied to defeat the University of Wisconsin 78-74 in overtime Thursday night can help define a season for a program on the rise.
It raises painful questions for the players on the losing team, who must stave off that element of doubt that can creep in and erode focus.
"These are the games that hurt, these are the games that stick with you, these are the games that you never want to happen again in the future,'' said UW senior forward Marcus Landry after the Badgers' milestone loss.
Besides the fact it was their second consecutive Big Ten Conference loss and dropped the Badgers (12-5, 3-2 Big Ten) out of second place, it was the first-ever win at the 11-year-old Kohl Center for the 18th-ranked Gophers (16-1, 4-1) and their first in Madison since 1994. "We don't want another game like this again,'' a quiet Landry repeated during the postgame press conference. "So it's really important that we take it to heart and learn from it.'' But the mistakes the Badgers made when they let Minnesota rally from a 53-44 deficit in the final 3:24 of regulation and send the game into overtime are ones that have plagued them previously this season. Ditto for the overtime period, when Minnesota scored the first seven points before the Badgers woke up and started to play.
How many times have they dribbled right into a trap or made a poor pass in the midst of a double team? How many times have they inexplicably let a weaker team dictate the tempo at key moments?
And how many times have they been unable to stop the other team's top scorer when he gets a hot hand? This time it was junior guard Lawrence Westbrook, who sealed the win by scoring nine of his career-high 29 points in the overtime.
I hope that the team can pull it together, because we all know how important it is to be playing your best come tournament time. GO BUCKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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