The Minnesota men’s basketball team finished its preseason on a winning note while raising money for a good cause, toppling Green Bay, 115-86, on Sunday afternoon at Maturi Pavilion.
All of the ticket proceeds, in addition to percentages of the concessions and merchandise revenue at the game Sunday, will be donated to the American Red Cross for hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Six Gophers finished in double figures, led by a highlight-reel performance of 24 points by sophomore Amir Coffey. Freshman Isaiah Washington added 24 points along with a game-high six assists, while junior Jordan Murphy posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Senior Reggie Lynch swatted six blocks to go with six points and five rebounds, while classmate Nate Mason added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Green Bay was led by 20 points and 10 rebounds from Khalil Small, one of four Phoenix in double figures.
Playing a game for the first time in the arena adjacent to Williams Arena, the Gophers struck first with a Coffey basket, before a GB three gave them their first lead at the 18:50 mark. They would lead just once more 35 seconds later, before a 13-0 run over 3:28 led the Gophers to a double-digit lead, 17-5.
Green Bay cut the deficit to eight while holding the Gophers to just three points over the next several minutes, but a Washington layup and the bonus made it 23-12 with 11:37 remaining in the opening half. That would spark an 11-0 run for Minnesota, stretching their advantage to 34-14. The lead grew as large as 25 in the first half before a buzzer-beating layup by the Phoenix set the halftime score at 58-35.
Coffey scored 16 points in the opening stanza while Mason added 10 and Washington nine points.
Green Bay closed to within 16 before a 14-0 second half run punctuated by Coffey’s tomahawk jam at the 12:20 mark effectively put the game out of reach at 86-56. Minnesota went on to lead by as many as 36 points late in the second half as they crossed the 100-point mark for the second time in as many exhibition games.
The Gophers lift the lid on the 2017-18 campaign Friday night, hosting USC Upstate at 7:00 p.m. at Williams Arena.
(content and picture courtesy of Gopher Sports)