The No.19 Michigan Wolverines (11-5) lost on the road to the Minnesota Golden Gophers (9-7), 75-67. Daniel Oturu dominated the game from start to finish. Oturu finished the game with a career-high 30 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 72 percent from the floor. In addition to Oturu’s monster night, Marcus Carr added 21 points, 12 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Oturu exposed the Wolverines in the post and had his way in the paint all night. One of Michigan’s weakness is their inability to defend athletic big men or fast guards. When the Wolverines frontcourt has to defend an elite center or forward it affects Jon Teske’s offensive input. When Teske has to defend a high profile player it takes his energy away on the offensive end.
Another problem that Michigan struggled to solve was Carr’s quickness. The 6-foot-2 guard was able to get into the paint and get his teammates involved.
Minnesota: Board Man Gets Paid
Minnesota played physical defense and dared Michigan to hit their perimeter shots. The Golden Gophers finished the game shooting 54.9 percent from the floor while holding the Wolverines to 35.7 percent from three. Since Isaiah Livers has been out Michigan has struggled to space the floor.
Obviously, Juwan Howard needs to find a solution with another lineup or strategy. Hopefully, Livers returns soon so that Michigan can prepare for the latter stretch of conference play.
After yesterday’s game, the Wolverines dropped to 2-3 in Big Ten play. On the other hand, the Golden Gophers are 3-3 in the conference. As conference play continues to unfold the games will only get tougher.
Michigan’s next game will be on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes Friday, January 17th.
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