Minnesota 70, Long Island 54
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Lawrence McKenzie scored 24 points and Dan Coleman added 23 to lead Minnesota to a 70-54 victory over Long Island on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Gophers, there wasn’t much besides the final score to celebrate.
Minnesota (2-0) led 37-29 at halftime, but turned the ball over twice to start the second half and saw its lead shrink to four.
Coleman and McKenzie scored the next 10 points as Minnesota extended its lead to 47-38 and regained control of the game.
Long Island (1-1) never got within nine points the rest of the way.
James Williams and Scott Aubin led Long Island with 16 points. Williams sat out the final 12 minutes of the game after injuring his right bicep.
Already thin on post players, Minnesota starting center Spencer Tollackson had to be helped off the court after injuring his left ankle with 8:46 to play in the second half.
Expectations are low for this Gophers team. Coach Dan Monson benched all five starters three minutes into the game. The second group looked lost on offense and lacked an inside presence, resulting in the Gophers trailing 12-7 five minutes into the first half.
The starters regained control soon after checking back in. Monson stuck to a regular substitution pattern the rest of game.