Strong second half lifts Minnesota over Central Michigan
MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Spencer Tollackson scored 14 points, and Minnesota dominated in the second half to beat Central Michigan 77-59 Saturday night.
Lawrence Westbrook had 11 points, and Lawrence McKenzie added 10 for the Gophers (3-0).
Giordan Watson led the Chippewas with 22 points. Robbie Harman added 10 points for Central Michigan (0-4), winless in its first four games for the first time since the 1993-94 season.
Neither team was stellar with the basketball. Minnesota committed 24 turnovers; Central Michigan had 23. The Gophers had a combined 23 miscues in wins over Army and Iowa State.
Tollackson hit a nearly 30-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to complete an 8-0 run for a 35-29 Minnesota lead at the break. The senior is now 1-for-7 in his career from outside the arc.
The Gophers were more aggressive on defense in the second half, and played more uptempo offensively to create some easy baskets.
Tollackson scored six straight points early in a 15-3 Minnesota run— including a steal and thunderous dunk—for a 55-38 lead midway through the second half.
A 3-pointer by Jamal Abu-Shamala and jumper by Kevin Payton gave Minnesota a 64-43 lead two minutes later. An inside move by Tollackson with 3:14 to play put Minnesota ahead 72-50.
Minnesota shot 52.2 percent in the second half and held Central Michigan to 36.7 percent shooting.