No. 14 Minnesota pulls away from Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Jordan Murphy scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds and Nate Mason scored 17 to lead No. 14 Minnesota to an 86-74 victory over Providence in the Dave Gavitt Tipoff on Monday night.
Despite the rankings, Providence, receiving enough votes to be in the 30th spot, was a slight favorite on its home floor in the Big East-Big Ten matchup.
Murphy, who had 35 points and 15 rebounds in the Gophers' opening win over South Carolina Upstate, was steady throughout but then took the game over with clutch baskets late.
He was 10 of 15 from the floor in the 23rd double-double of his career. He also had three blocked shots and two assists.
Minnesota (2-0) trailed by six in the second half after blowing an early 10-point lead, and went on a 26-12 second-half run with Amir Coffey hitting three 3-pointers during the spurt. The Gophers broke the game open late.
Coffey finished with 15 points, Reggie Lynch had 12 and Mason pulled down six rebounds in the victory.
Kyron Cartwright led the Friars (1-1) with 12 points and had nine assists. Providence had five players in double figures, all scoring between 10 and 12 points. Kalif Young scored 11 and Rodney Bullock, Isaiah Jackson and Nate Watson 10 apiece.
Jalen Lindsay, who missed the first game with a knee injury, returned and scored seven points off the bench, but the Friars are missing Emmitt Holt (12.5 points, 5.4 rebounds last season) long term because of stomach surgery.
Minnesota won the game despite registering just six assists -- one in the first half.
NOTES: Dave Gavitt is the former Providence coach and the original commissioner of the Big East. ... Minnesota returns home for a three-game homestand, starting with Niagara on Wednesday. Providence heads to New York for the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden, the Friars playing Washington on Thursday and Virginia Tech or Saint Louis on Friday. ... The Big East and Big Ten have split each of the first two eight-game series between the conference. ... Minnesota won each of the two previous games between the programs, in 1992 and '93. ... Former Friars great Otis Thorpe was seated courtside.