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Minnesota holds off Texas A&M rally for 69-64 victory

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The experience of Minnesota outlasted the inexperience of Texas A&M in the closing minutes even if baskets were not coming easy. Or at all.

''We found a way to make winning plays. Sometimes when you have a night like that where you're not flowing offensively you have to be able to do that. Our guys did that,'' Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.

Jordan Murphy scored 14 points, Amir Coffey added 12 points, and Minnesota hit 10 of 14 free throws in the closing minutes to hold off Texas A&M 69-64 on Sunday night in the Vancouver Shootout.

The Golden Gophers (3-0) watched a 14-point first-half lead disappear, but made enough free-throw attempts late to get the victory despite going the final four minutes without a basket. Texas A&M led 64-63, but had four straight empty possessions, missing a pair of long 3-pointers late in the shot clock and committing a pair of turnovers.

The Gophers capitalized on the mistakes at the free-throw line, making six attempts in the final two minutes to hold off the Aggies. Dupree McBrayer added 10 points for the Gophers.

''We were pretty poised down the stretch. I think the older guys definitely took the wheel a little bit,'' Murphy said.

Brandon Mahan scored a career-high 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting and helped ignite Texas A&M's rally, but the Aggies (1-3) lost their third straight and faltered in the closing minutes. Mahan had 14 total points on the season through three games.

Christian Mekowulu added 16 points and TJ Starks had 11 for the Aggies. It was a far better showing for the Aggies than their last game against Gonzaga when they were blown out.

''We thought we had good momentum going down the stretch but we struggled scoring the last three, four minutes,'' Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. ''We didn't get good shots or run good offense and you have to give Minnesota credit. I thought they showed a little more poise down the stretch than we did.''

Minnesota led by as many as 14 in the first half, only to let Texas A&M slowly chip away. The Aggies pulled within 41-36 early in the second half on Mahan's corner 3-pointer, but Minnesota built the lead back to 11 after Murphy's first basket of the second half for a 51-40 lead with 11 minutes left.

That's when the Aggies got hot, running off 12 of the next 16 points and closing within 55-52 on Isiah Jasey's dunk. Matz Stockman scored for Minnesota on a rebound putback, but the Aggies scored six straight capped by Mahan's dunk to pull even at 57-all with 5:50 left. Mahan followed with his second 3-pointer and Texas A&M had its first lead since the opening minute of the game.

Daniel Oturu's rebound basket with 4:09 left ended Minnesota's three-minute scoring drought and was the final field goal for the Gophers. Murphy, Coffey and McBrayer all took turns hitting free throws to seal it while Texas A&M struggled to get good looks.

''I thought our zone bothered them, slowed them down a little bit. We found a way to get stops,'' Pitino said.

TURNOVER TROUBLES

Minnesota committed 20 turnovers - 16 in the first half - as it struggled for stretches dealing with how physical Texas A&M played defense.

''They're physical and we hadn't seen a defense like that yet,'' Pitino said.

BIG PICTURE

Minnesota: The Gophers are now 20-15 against SEC opponents and picked up a second straight nonconference Power Five win after beating Utah.

Texas A&M: The Aggies will be frustrated by their start against Minnesota, but the rebound in keeping the game close into the second half was a far better showing than their last game against No. 3 Gonzaga. The Aggies trailed Gonzaga by 10 at halftime, but gave up 51 second-half points and trailed by as many as 34. ... The Aggies will appreciate the day of rest before facing Washington. Leading-scorer Savion Flagg returned home after the Gonzaga game to attend a funeral before rejoining the team in Vancouver. He had nine points in 35 minutes.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: The Gophers face Santa Clara on Tuesday.

Texas A&M: The Aggies face Washington on Tuesday.

Copyright 2018 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
S. Flagg
J. Murphy
26.5 Min. Per Game 26.5
11.5 Pts. Per Game 11.5
5.0 Ast. Per Game 5.0
13.5 Reb. Per Game 13.5
48.1 Field Goal % 56.5
28.6 Three Point % 25.0
80.0 Free Throw % 66.7
  Defensive rebound by Amir Coffey 2.0
  T.J. Starks missed 3-pt. jump shot 4.0
  Defensive rebound by Savion Flagg 9.0
  Daniel Oturu missed 2nd of 2 free throws 9.0
  Daniel Oturu missed 1st of 2 free throws 9.0
  Personal foul on Brandon Mahan 9.0
  Defensive rebound by Daniel Oturu 14.0
  Wendell Mitchell missed 3-pt. jump shot 16.0
+ 1 Amir Coffey made 2nd of 2 free throws 28.0
+ 1 Amir Coffey made 1st of 2 free throws 28.0
  Personal foul on T.J. Starks 28.0
Team Stats
Points 64 69
Field Goals 25-61 (41.0%) 22-52 (42.3%)
3-Pointers 3-15 (20.0%) 7-18 (38.9%)
Free Throws 11-15 (73.3%) 18-32 (56.3%)
Total Rebounds 35 40
Offensive 13 13
Defensive 21 20
Team 1 7
Assists 9 11
Steals 11 6
Blocks 4 3
Turnovers 13 20
Fouls 25 20
Technicals 0 0
17 PTS, 4 REB, 1 AST
14 PTS, 7 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Texas A&M 1-3 263864
home team logo Minnesota 3-0 363369
Team Stats
away team logo Texas A&M 1-3 70.4 PPG 40.1 RPG 11.8 APG
home team logo Minnesota 3-0 70.6 PPG 40.2 RPG 14.5 APG
Key Players
13
B. Mahan G 5.9 PPG 2.8 RPG 0.7 APG 39.5 FG%
3
J. Murphy F 14.4 PPG 11.0 RPG 2.6 APG 48.7 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Mahan G 17 PTS 4 REB 1 AST
J. Murphy F 14 PTS 7 REB 2 AST
41.0 FG% 42.3
20.0 3PT FG% 38.9
73.3 FT% 56.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Mahan 17 4 1 6/8 2/3 3/4 4 27 3 0 2 1 3
C. Mekowulu 16 7 0 6/9 0/0 4/5 4 27 1 2 0 3 4
T. Starks 11 5 5 4/14 0/4 3/3 3 34 2 0 6 2 3
S. Flagg 9 9 1 4/11 0/2 1/2 1 35 1 0 0 2 7
J. Chandler 5 3 1 2/7 1/3 0/0 4 30 2 1 2 2 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
B. Mahan 17 4 1 6/8 2/3 3/4 4 27 3 0 2 1 3
C. Mekowulu 16 7 0 6/9 0/0 4/5 4 27 1 2 0 3 4
T. Starks 11 5 5 4/14 0/4 3/3 3 34 2 0 6 2 3
S. Flagg 9 9 1 4/11 0/2 1/2 1 35 1 0 0 2 7
J. Chandler 5 3 1 2/7 1/3 0/0 4 30 2 1 2 2 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Nebo 2 1 0 1/2 0/0 0/0 4 4 0 0 0 0 1
I. Jasey 2 3 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 8 1 1 0 1 2
J. Walker III 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 13 0 0 3 1 0
W. Mitchell 0 1 1 0/8 0/3 0/1 1 22 1 0 0 1 0
C. Collins - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Gilder - - - - - - - - - - - - -
F. Byers - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. French - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Brown - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Alo - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Vaughn - - - - - - - - - - - - -
L. McGhee - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Walker - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 64 34 9 25/61 3/15 11/15 25 200 11 4 13 13 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Murphy 14 7 2 4/8 1/1 5/8 4 25 1 0 2 2 5
A. Coffey 12 2 2 3/8 0/2 6/10 2 30 1 0 6 1 1
D. McBrayer 10 3 2 2/9 1/4 5/6 2 32 1 0 2 1 2
G. Kalscheur 8 3 1 3/9 2/6 0/0 3 27 1 0 3 2 1
D. Oturu 5 9 0 2/2 0/0 1/4 3 27 0 2 2 4 5
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Murphy 14 7 2 4/8 1/1 5/8 4 25 1 0 2 2 5
A. Coffey 12 2 2 3/8 0/2 6/10 2 30 1 0 6 1 1
D. McBrayer 10 3 2 2/9 1/4 5/6 2 32 1 0 2 1 2
G. Kalscheur 8 3 1 3/9 2/6 0/0 3 27 1 0 3 2 1
D. Oturu 5 9 0 2/2 0/0 1/4 3 27 0 2 2 4 5
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Stockman 6 3 0 3/3 0/0 0/2 1 13 0 0 1 1 2
B. Stull 6 1 1 2/2 2/2 0/0 0 12 2 0 0 0 1
I. Washington 6 4 3 2/8 1/3 1/2 0 19 0 0 2 2 2
J. Omersa 2 1 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 4 13 0 1 1 0 1
M. Hurt 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 2 0 0 1 0 0
J. Johnson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Curry - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Rudrud - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Willis - - - - - - - - - - - - -
H. Conroy - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Carr - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 69 33 11 22/52 7/18 18/32 20 200 6 3 20 13 20