GOPHERS MEN'S BASKETBALL GAMEDAY
vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 8 p.m. Tuesday at Williams Arena
TV; radio: BTN; 100.3-FM
Betting line: Gophers by 16.5
Pregame reading: Dawson Garcia is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, blocks and free-throw shooting. But there are two other numbers he cares about more than anything.
. . .
Marcus Fuller's preview:
Opening bell: The Gophers (3-1) showed signs of having a high-scoring offense when they put up 182 combined points in their first two games, but keeping that pace wasn't realistic. In the past two games, the Gophers haven't reached the 70-point mark, but defense helped them bounce back from a Missouri loss last week. Defense is not a strong suit for Arkansas-Pine Bluff (3-2), which enters Tuesday having given up 100 points in each loss this season to Missouri and Incarnate Word. The Lions rank last (362nd) in the country in defensive efficiency this year.
Watch him: Pine Bluff's leading scorer Kylen Milton, a 6-4 former Western Kentucky guard, ranks fourth in Division I with 23.8 points per game, which includes 34 points in a 101-79 loss in the opener against Missouri. Milton had a team-high 19 points and nine assists in a 72-56 loss to the Gophers last season.
Forecast: Missouri overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to pull off the comeback last week, but it got help from a six-minute scoring drought by the Gophers. Ben Johnson's team understands now that relying on offense is not the recipe for wins, especially shooting from long distance. The Gophers shot a combined 13-for-46 from three in the past two games. Defense is the key.
Sign up here to get Gophers sports news delivered to your inbox for free.