Early Offensive Struggles Send Toledo to 82-56 Loss at Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - Minnesota took advantage of Toledo's ice-cold shooting to open the game to hand the Rockets an 82-56 defeat on Monday evening at Williams Arena. The contest was the first between the two schools since Dec. 2, 1989.
Toledo missed 14 of its first 15 shots as the Gophers jumped out to a 23-5 advantage. Minnesota led by a many as 28 points in the opening stanza before settling for a 48-22 halftime cushion.
"The start of the game was obviously the key tonight," Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "I thought we probably settled for too many jump shots early. We had some really good looks but didn't make them. That led to long rebounds and created transition baskets for them. They're a really athletic, explosive team that took advantage of it."
Sophomore G Joe Coleman paced a balanced Minnesota attack with 15 points that saw seven Golden Gophers notch six or more points.
UT committed just 13 turnovers in the contest (only three in the first half) but that couldn't make up for its 31.1 field-goal percentage. The Rockets posted a 22.2 FG% in the opening 20 minutes before doubling their conversion rate (44.0 percent) in the second half.
The Golden Gophers on the other hand were red-hot from the field with a 57.1 shooting mark in the opening stanza before cooling off to finish with a 49.1 percentage for the game. The hosts also dominated the glass by a 51-27 margin.
The second half was evenly played as UT played the hosts to a 34-34 tie. The Rockets outshot Minnesota, 44.0-41.4, in the final 20 minutes.
"I think the second half gives us something to build on," Kowalczyk said. "We played really well at both ends, and we're going to look to carry that over into our next game."
Toledo will remain on the road and conclude its season opening six-day, three-game roadtrip against Northern Iowa (1-0). Tip-off time from the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls, IA is set for 7:00 p.m. CT.