Gophers hole too deep to upset Ohio State

Published 8:55 am Wednesday, February 15, 2012

There’s no way the Gophers looked like an NCAA tournament team facing a 21-point deficit in the first half after being outscored 20-0 at one point Tuesday night against No. 6 Ohio State.

A stunned Williams Arena crowd of 13,245 seemed so dumbfounded by the dominance it was witnessing that it didn’t even bother to heckle.

Fans just sat there in awe.

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Some of those same fans stood and hollered after the seemingly insurmountable deficit was cut to single digits late, but Minnesota coach Tubby Smith and his players were more disappointed than encouraged because a poor start was just too much to overcome in a 78-68 loss to the Big Ten-leading Buckeyes.

“We really expect more out of our guys,” Smith said. “I just didn’t see it. I didn’t see it. The same kind of thing happened against Wisconsin the other night.”

Junior Rodney Williams said frustration is starting to sink in with the team because it has had to come from behind so many times only to fall short.

Last week’s 68-61 overtime loss to Wisconsin at home was more disturbing, though, because the Gophers (17-9, 5-8) erased a 13-point second-half deficit only to miss two potential game-winning shots at the end of regulation.