Found January 22, 2013 on Fox Sports North:
MINNEAPOLIS After losing two straight games against highly ranked opponents, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have identified a common denominator: too many turnovers. Minnesota trailed Indiana by 23 at halftime before a second-half surge fell just short. In that game at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, the Gophers turned the ball over 17 times. A few days later against No. 5 Michigan, Minnesota had 15 turnovers while taking the ball away 11 times. The Wolverines converted those 15 Gophers turnovers into 24 points the other way en route to an 83-75 win at Williams Arena. If the Gophers hope to stop their losing streak Wednesday against Northwestern, they'll have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. "We just can't continue to beat ourselves," said Minnesota senior forward Trevor Mbakwe, who had a double-double in the loss to Michigan. "We're already playing against a tough opponent as it is. We can't play against ourselves, too. I think those were good tests for us. We definitely needed it going forward." Heading into Wednesday's game in Evanston, No. 12 Minnesota is averaging 14.7 turnovers per game, the most among all Big Ten teams. Northwestern, meanwhile, gives the ball away just 10.9 times per game. The Wildcats are also among the conference's top teams in assistturnover ration (1.4). When these same two teams met earlier this month in Minneapolis, the Gophers committed 15 turnovers in their 69-51 win. Minnesota led after a low-scoring first half by a 17-14 margin, a half plagued in part by turnovers. Winning on the road in the Big Ten is tough enough. Lose the turnover battle, and it's nearly impossible. "You can't turn the ball over, especially in conference play," said Gophers sophomore guard Andre Hollins. "Every possession matters. We've just been beating ourselves these past two games. That's what it's going to boil down to, us growing up and maturing as a team and limiting our turnovers and not just giving the other team points." Aside from taking care of the ball, Minnesota will also need more production from its bench. While guard Julian Welch scored eight points in the loss to Michigan, the rest of the bench scored a combined four points. In their road game against Illinois earlier this month, the Gophers won despite scoring a single point off the bench. Minnesota's reserves have been guilty of turning the ball over, too. Against Michigan, the Gophers' bench had nearly as many turnovers (seven) as the starters (eight). "I was concerned that we didn't get more production from the bench in that game," Gophers coach Tubby Smith said of the Michigan loss. "I thought if we got better production from the bench, it might have been a different outcome. But even they were turning it over. "It was just one of those games." Minnesota can't afford one of those games again Wednesday. The Gophers' top players have to take care of the ball better. Senior forward Rodney Williams turned the ball over four times against Michigan. Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins had nine total turnovers in the Indiana loss. "It's a veteran team that still has to learn how to handle the ball," Smith said. "I'm very surprised. It's disappointing." While the Gophers' three losses this season have come against tough competition, the last two games have exposed a weakness for Minnesota. Force the Gophers to turn the ball over, and you have a chance. Minnesota learned that about itself the hard way. Now it's up to the Gophers to bounce back from those two losses and learn from their mistakes and it starts by hanging onto the basketball. "There's never a good loss," Smith said. "I know they better learn from it. I know I've learned some things from it, and we've tried to pass it on to them. We'll see how they respond." Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter.

Condon adds scoring touch to second line

MINNEAPOLIS Departing for the holiday break in December, Minnesota Gophers junior forward Nate Condon was given an assignment from hockey coach Don Lucia. "Go home and find 10 goals laying around the house when you're on break," Condon recalled Wednesday of Lucia's pre-break message. With just three goals in the season's first 17 games, Condon wasn't giving...

Gophers hit the road to Northwestern to get back on track

It may be a bit early for such grand pronouncements, but the Golden Gophers Big Ten season has reached a crossroads. We know they can not beat teams ranked #5 on home, road, or neutral floors. We also don't know where the Gophers sit in the Big Ten pecking order. Losing to highly ranked teams is fine if there is consistent effort and the game is close throughout. Unfortunately...

Oh crap, a 1-3-1 zone. WHAT DO WE DO?!

Here comes a rant. It’s become a disgusting, overplayed annoying record. It’s like being trapped in the middle of nowhere with one radio station and no iPod. And the radio is playing crap you don’t want to hear, but you can’t turn it off. And your gas tank is running low and you don’t have [...]

One step back, before we move forward (UND vs. UMN)

Goldy Gopher, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities mascot. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) This is the big story that is making it’s way around Twitter this afternoon. From the looks of it, Minnesota Gophers beat writer Roman Augustoviz must have listened to Gophers head coach Don Lucia on WCCO radio last night. So, after a great weekend of hockey and after being asked about...

WCHA Web Media Poll: Week 15

Each week, I participate in a WCHA Web Media Poll that is put on by the Tech Hockey Guide with 11 other people that represent both the print media as well as the hockey blogosphere. The Minnesota Gophers are this week’s unanimous #1 team. The Gophers received all 12 first place votes this week’s poll.  North Dakota, Denver and Omaha all fell one place in this week’s...

The 2013 WAY Too Early Badgers Schedule Breakdown: Minnesota

It's here, it's finally here!! Yes, the Badgers get there shot at a decade of dominance in the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe. What will make it sweeter? Winning the game on the turf of it's most bitter rival, and that's exactly what is at stake as Wisconsin travels to "The Bank" to take on the Gophs with a 9 game win streak in tow.  Things will obviously...

Weekend Match-Ups (by Donn)

First I would like to thank the UW Badgers for splitting with Miami, the Goon now owes me a beer!  Second I would like to thank the Minnesota announcer, McCloud, for on Friday night, the used the “S” word, and admitted it would take time to get over using the word Sioux, dang, I said it too. WCHA STANDINGS 2012-2013 Team………………………W-L-T…...
Golden Gophers News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.