Gophers Pull Away from Close Game to Knock off Oral Roberts
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan Murphy scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 13th double-double of the season to lift Minnesota to a 77-63 win over Oral Roberts on Thursday night.
Sophomore Amir Coffey chipped in 15 points and senior point guard Nate Mason scored 14 as the Golden Gophers (10-3) pulled away in the second half against the Golden Eagles (4-11).
Oral Roberts forward Chris Miller scored a career-high 18 points. Minnesota struggled to defend the Golden Eagles big man, who shot 9 of 15 from the floor. Emmanuel Nzekwesi added 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
The Gophers used an 11-0 run early in the second half to grow their lead to double-digits. Murphy and Coffey scored all 11 points during that stretch. That was part of a larger 23-4 run by Minnesota that resulted in a 20-point advantage.
Minnesota was without starting guard Dupree McBrayer, who missed the game with a lower leg injury. McBrayer is averaging 8.2 points and a team-high 2.9 assists per game.
The Gophers have been one of the best rebounding teams in the country, averaging 42.7 rebounds per game, yet were out-rebounded by Oral Roberts 45-41.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers needed a game like this after a pair of non-conference losses and a narrow one-point win over Drake. Minnesota's players were well-rested after playing for the first time in 10 days.
Minnesota continues its non-conference schedule on Saturday when it hosts Florida Atlantic.