MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota tuned up for the start of its regular season with a 95-68 exhibition win against Minnesota Duluth on Thursday night at Williams Arena.

The Gophers had five players reach double figures, led by junior guard Carlos Morris with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting. Junior forward Joey King and sophomore guard Daquein McNeil each added 15 points, while senior guards Andre Hollins and DeAndre Mathieu had 13 and 12, respectively. Senior center Elliott Eliason came off the bench to lead all players with 16 rebounds.

UMD led early, 7-4, but the Gophers responded with a 13-0 run to take a 10-point lead at 17-7 before Brett Irvin ended the 7:07 scoreless streak for the Bulldogs.

Minnesota continued to impress on the defensive end of the court, as it stretched the lead to 26-9, and later achieved its largest first-half advantage by taking a 46-23 lead with less than a minute left in the half.

The Gophers combined to make 19-of-32 (.594) field goals in the opening 20 minutes, while limiting UMD to just 9-of-31 (.290) attempts. Eight players scored for Minnesota in the first half, led by 10-point efforts by Morris and McNeil.

After the break, the Gophers continued to add to the lead, which reached 32 points midway through the second half. Minnesota made 38-of-65 (.585) field goal attempts, including 9-of-21 (.429) three-pointers, and used its size advantage to hold a 40-31 advantage in rebounding.

UMD, which lost 88-71 at Notre Dame on Sunday, was led by guard Brendon Pineda’s 17 points, while guard Taylor Lavery also reached double figures with 15 points, and fellow guard Pierre Newton added nine points and a team-best 10 rebounds. Ervin, who led all players with 29 points at Notre Dame, was held to eight points on 2-of-12 shooting.

Minnesota now focuses its attention on preparing for next week’s regular season opener against nationally-ranked Louisville. The game is this year’s ESPN Armed Forces Classic, and it will take place at 6:30 p.m. CT, at the Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.

Courtesy: gophersports.com