The University of Minnesota men's basketball team defeated UNC- Asheville today at Williams Arena, 87-81. The Golden Gophers never lost a lead, but in the final two minutes, the Bulldogs went on a 15- 5 run as they pulled the final score within six.
In the first half, the Gophers outplayed the Bulldogs with three players - Rick Rickert, Michael Bauer and Maurice Hargrow - scoring in double figures. Minnesota had a first-half field-goal percentage of 52.6 percent to Asheville's 34.5 percent. In rebounding, Asheville held even with Minnesota, pulling in 17 to Minnesota's 20.
Minnesota held Asheville to 12 points at the 10-minute mark in the first half. Despite Asheville scoring 11 points in the final six minutes of the half, Minnesota held its highest lead, 23, going into the second half.
Minnesota held onto a lead but was outshot 54-37 in the second half. Asheville's Andre Smith pulled in 19 second-half points. Smith scored nine of Asheville's final 15 points, helping them pull within six to end the game.
In the second half, Rickert, Bauer and Hargrow held onto their offensive power with each bringing in at least 20 points. Both Rickert and Bauer tied their second-best career-highs in scoring with 26 and 20 points, respectively. Hargrow was the ringer for the Gophers, bringing in career-highs in points, 21, and rebounds, four. Defensively, Ben Johnson was solid for the Gophers, pulling down nine defensive rebounds and finishing with a career-high 10 boards.
Field-goal shooting evened out in the second half with Asheville finishing at 44.4 percent and Minnesota at 47.4. Overall, Minnesota is 25-3 in non-conference home games under Coach Monson.
Next up for the Gophers is Georgia on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m., at Williams Arena.