True freshman Cam Christie scored 18 points off the bench in his collegiate debut and Minnesota cruised to a 102-77 win over visiting UTSA on Friday night in Minneapolis.
Dawson Garcia finished with a team-high 22 points for Minnesota (2-0). Isaiah Ihnen scored 20 points while making all seven of his shot attempts, and Joshua Ola-Joseph finished with 12 points.
Dre Fuller Jr. led UTSA with 16 points. PJ Carter added 15 off the bench for the Roadrunners, who picked up their first loss after winning their season opener earlier this week.
Christie, who missed Minnesota’s season opener as he recovered from an illness, showed no signs of nervousness in his first college game. He led all scorers with 13 points in the first half after making four of his first six shots, including 3 of 4 from distance.
Minnesota raced to a 54-30 lead at halftime.
Before the half, the Golden Gophers shot 51.6 percent (16 of 31) from the field and 40 percent (6 of 15) from beyond the arc. UTSA shot 30.6 percent (11 of 36) from the field and 30 percent (3 of 10) from 3-point range in the opening half.
UTSA proved to be pesky in the first five minutes. The Roadrunners pulled within 12-9 when Massal Diouf made a layup with 14:58 remaining in the half.
Minnesota responded with a 9-0 run to surge to a 21-9 advantage with 12:51 remaining. Christie made a 3-pointer to punctuate the run.
The Golden Gophers kept rolling. They more than doubled UTSA’s score when Parker Fox drained a pair of free throws to make it 41-20 with 5:26 to go before halftime.
UTSA could not find a way to stop Minnesota’s momentum on offense in the second half. Adante’ Holiman made a 3-pointer to cut the Roadrunners’ deficit to 57-35 with 16:38 to go, but the Golden Gophers responded with 12 straight points to pull ahead 69-35 with 13:42 left.
Minnesota passed the century mark in points in the final minute. Christie buried a 3-pointer with 22 seconds remaining off an assist from Jack Wilson.
–Field Level Media
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