MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Amir Coffey had 13 points, Nate Mason and Dupree McBrayer each scored 11 and Minnesota beat Southern Illinois 57-45 on Friday night.
The Gophers (6-0) won despite missing starting center Reggie Lynch, who sat with an ankle injury. Even without the 6-foot-10 Lynch — who's averaging nine points and 3.6 blocks per game — the Gophers' size advantage ground down a Salukis team that entered the game averaging 81 points per game.
Minnesota's much taller backcourt held Mike Rodriguez — SIU's leading scorer — to seven points, half his season average. Thik Bol led The Salukis (3-3) with 15 points, but no other Southern Illinois player had more than seven.
The Gophers won despite shooting a season-worst 12 of 22 from the free-throw line. Southern Illinois led by four in the first half before hitting an eight-minute scoring drought. The Gophers took advantage, ripping off a 12-0 run that put them in front for good.