Dawson Garcia scored 18 points to lead Minnesota to a 58-55 home win over Chicago State on Thursday.
Jamison Battle added 14 points for Minnesota (6-6), which has won two straight following a five-game losing streak.
Wesley Cardet Jr. scored 17 points and Elijah Weaver had 16 points in defeat for Chicago State (3-12), which has lost 10 of its past 11 games.
Minnesota prevailed despite going 4 of 20 from 3-point range and 4 of 11 from the free-throw line. The difference in the game came in the paint, where the Golden Gophers had 30 points compared to 14 for the Cougars.
Chicago State finished 7 of 20 from 3-point territory and 14 of 18 from the free-throw line.
Chicago State held a 55-54 lead with 2:53 remaining in the game, but Minnesota took a 58-55 lead with 1:14 left after a basket by Battle and a dunk by Treyton Thompson.
The Cougars got a stop with 21 seconds left and had a chance to tie, but Weaver couldn’t convert a 3-pointer before the buzzer sounded to end the game.
Minnesota held a 52-46 lead with 6:26 remaining, but Chicago State scored seven straight to go up 53-52 with 3:34 left.
The Golden Gophers went ahead 44-34 with 16:23 remaining, but Chicago State mounted a comeback.
The Cougars reeled off 10 straight points to tie the game at 44-44 with 11:44 left.
Chicago State held a 10-8 lead with 12:54 remaining in the first half, but Minnesota took control of the half after that.
The Golden Gophers went on a 12-0 spree to take a 20-10 lead with 8:59 remaining before the half and then went up 26-14 less than three minutes later on a 3-pointer by Battle off a fast break.
Minnesota took its biggest lead of the half, 15 points, when Battle hit his second three-pointer to go up 33-18 with 3:41 remaining until halftime. He was 2 of 8 from long range on the day.
Chicago State finished the first half strong, cutting Minnesota’s lead to 38-30 at halftime following a 9-3 surge over the final three minutes of the half.
–Field Level Media