Minnesota knocks off No. 3 Ohio State behind a career night from Marcus Carr

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·Writer
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Behind 35 points from Marcus Carr, the Gophers knocked off undefeated Ohio State on Sunday night.
Behind 35 points from Marcus Carr, the Gophers knocked off undefeated Ohio State on Sunday night. (AP/Andy Clayton-King)

After a dominant 9-0 start to the season, No. 3 Ohio State was in a great position to make the jump to the top spot in the rankings on Monday — thanks to No. 1 Louisville’s upset loss to Texas Tech earlier this week.

All that stood in the Buckeyes’ path was a matchup against Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.

That, though, didn’t go as planned for Chris Holtmann and company.

The Gophers, after mounting a nine-point lead at halftime, rolled to an 84-71 win against Ohio State at Williams Arena in Minneapolis, handing the Buckeyes their first loss of the season.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

While it was a tough night for Ohio State, it was a very welcome sign for Minnesota coach Richard Pitino — as the Gophers, who boast just a 5-5 record, were fresh off a 20-point loss to Iowa on Monday.

“We’re not great at times, but we’ve also played a really, really difficult schedule,” Pitino said. “What I like about our guys is they learn from it, they’ve gotten better and obviously this is our best performance of the year.”

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

Minnesota point guard Marcus Carr seemed unstoppable in the win, too. He dropped a career-high 35 points, shooting 12 of 17 from the field while adding seven assists.

“Marcus Carr is one of the best guards in the country in my opinion,” Pitino said. “Every time we needed a bucket, we got a little bit stagnant, he made big plays. He’s a really, really good player. He’s just had some ups and down, but he’s young. I think he could be a really terrific player in this league for a couple years.”

Perhaps the best part of the performance for Carr was how he bounced back from a rough night against the Hawkeyes on Monday — in which Carr had just two points and went 1 of 10 from the field.

“My guys, after that last performance I had — it was definitely a terrible performance — but all hit me up and said, ‘Yo, we believe in you. We know what you can do. We know what you’re capable of. We trust you to lead this team,’” Carr said, via the Big Ten Network. “My guys having the confidence in me brings out my confidence. I came out here tonight knowing that they believed in me and they were putting it on my shoulders to come out here and get this done.”

Gabe Kalscheur finished with 15 points for Minnesota, and Daniel Oturu dropped a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

D.J. Carton led the Buckeyes with a season-high 19 points off the bench. E.J. Liddell added 14 points and five rebounds, and Kaleb Wesson finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

Ohio State had been on an impressive stretch to start the year, too, beating its opponents by a NCAA-best 26.2 points per game with blowout wins over No. 20 Villanova and No. 17 Ohio State. It dropped 106 points on Penn State last week, too, in its 32-point Big Ten opening win.

The Buckeyes were without second-leading scorer Duane Washington — who is averaging 11.4 points and shooting nearly 54 percent from the 3-point line — on Sunday, too, who was out with a rib injury.

Even if they had him available, though, Holtmann doesn’t think it would have made a difference. They simply got outplayed.

“I’m not sure right now even with Duane if we win this game tonight,” Holtmann said, via the Columbus Dispatch. “I think they just physically … they were physically tougher. We’ve got to get better at that area. I’ve got to coach that better. We got to play better.”

More from Yahoo Sports: