Dawson Garcia scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 68-60 win over Central Michigan on Thursday in Minneapolis.
Ta’Lon Cooper scored 12 points and Braeden Carrington added 10 points for Minnesota (3-1), which responded after a home loss to DePaul on Monday.
Kevin Miller put up a game-high 19 points on 8-of-20 shooting, Jesse Zarzuela contributed 15 points off the bench and Reggie Bass had 10 points for Central Michigan (1-2).
Minnesota shot 47.9 percent (23 of 48) from the field overall but committed 16 turnovers and was outrebounded by Central Michigan 43-38.
The Chippewas struggled to put the ball in the basket all game, shooting 30.6 percent (22 of 72) from the field overall and 24 percent (6 of 25) from 3-point range.
Leading 31-26 at halftime, Minnesota started to separate itself at the start of the second half, going on a 10-2 run to take a 41-28 lead with 15:49 remaining.
The Golden Gophers continued to grow their lead from there, going up 52-34 on two Cooper foul shots with 9:02 remaining.
Central Michigan tried to make a late run, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 59-50 with 3:11 remaining on a 3-pointer by Bass.
But the Golden Gophers stemmed the tide, scoring four straight points to take a 63-50 lead with 1:33 left, all but putting the game out of reach.
Zarzuela hit a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to bring Central Michigan within 67-58, but it was too little, too late for the Chippewas.
Minnesota got off to a good start, scoring 14 of the game’s first 18 points and holding a 19-12 lead with 10:58 left in the first half.
Central Michigan then went on a 10-4 run to cut Minnesota’s lead to one point with 6:06 to go in the first half on a Miller jump shot.
Minnesota then went on an 8-2 surge to take a 31-24 lead with 1:38 left until halftime.
–Field Level Media