It wasn't a dominant performance by any means, but the Gophers men's basketball team moved to 4-0 with an 82-72 win over Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night at Williams Arena.
"Wasn't a great performance defensively. We got the win and that's obviously the most important thing. I was really concerned with a letdown, not physically but mentally," head coach Richard Pitino said. "We have to do a better job of scrambling out defensively out of the press. It's a quick turnaround with one-day prep for Wofford, but you've got to address the immediate defensive concerns and we'll get back at it tomorrow."
The Gophers settled for three pointers and shot a miserable 8-for-28 from beyond the arc including 6-for-17 in the first half. A message that Pitino was sure to emphasize at halftime.
"Very much so. A lot of it had to do with them switching a lot of things, and instead of us driving into the paint we were settling for way too many threes," Pitino said. "We talked about that and just didn't do a great job of it. We really wanted to get fouled, but we improved in the 2nd half."
Andre Hollins led the way with 19 points for the Gophers, but it was their lack of rotation on defense that allowed Coastal Carolina to make wide open shots and keep the game close while hitting 57 percent in the second half.
The Gophers used a 19-0 run late to defeat Richmond last Friday and holding a three point lead at the midway point of the second half, the Gophers used a 10-2 run to stretch the lead to 11 with a little more than 8 minutes left in the game.
With the Gophers headed to Maui next week for 3 games in 3 days, Pitino talked openly about his concern that Tuesdays game might be a trap game.
"I was really concerned going in just because you play at Richmond in a big time environment and then you come back here," Pitino said. "I was really concerned about a letdown. I don't think they let down physically, as much as we did mentally. "
The team remains home Thursday when they host Wofford at 6PM at Williams Arena. They then travel to Maui to face Syracuse on Monday in their toughest test of the season to date.
Point guard DeAndre Mathieu continues to dazzle finishing with 17 points five rebounds, six assists and three steals.
Andre Hollins scored his 900th career point.
Forward Joey King was injured as he ran into Hollins while chasing a loose ball in the second half. He appeared to be out on his feet, and after the game Pitino said he would be evaluated Wednesday. His status for Thursday and the Maui Invite is unknown.
The Gophers forced 20 turnovers, 11 in the first half.