Jamison Battle scored 18 points to lead Minnesota to a 71-56 nonconference home win over Kansas City in the season opener for both on Tuesday.
E.J. Stephens and Payton Willis each added 13 points for Minnesota, which used just seven players in the game.
Josiah Allick led all scorers with 21 points for Kansas City, while Evan Gilyard had 12 points and Marvin Nesbitt Jr. added 11. The Roos shot 27.8 percent from 3-point range (5 of 18) and 43.1 percent from the field (22 of 51).
The Golden Gophers finished 36.4 percent from 3-point range (8 of 22), 46.2 percent from the field overall (24 of 52) and had eight steals, while forcing 12 Kansas City turnovers.
Minnesota broke the game open after Kansas City cut Minnesota’s lead to 54-52 on a dunk by Jacob Johnson with 7:42 remaining.
From there, the Golden Gophers went on a 12-0 run to take a 66-52 lead with 3:21 remaining.
Kansas City finally stopped the run on a basket by Gilyard with 1:52 left.
Minnesota extending its lead to as many as 17 points at 71-54 in the final minute to seal the victory.
After Minnesota took a 43-31 lead with 15:22 remaining in the game, Kansas City responded with a 9-3 run to cut its deficit to 46-40 with 11:54 left.
The Golden Gophers took a 50-42 lead with 10:57 remaining, but the Roos responded with a 10-4 run over the next 3:16, capped by Johnson’s dunk to pull within 54-52.
Minnesota jumped out to a 20-9 lead with 11:19 remaining in the first half before Kansas City responded with a 9-2 run to make it 22-16 Golden Gophers with 6:53 to go until halftime.
The Golden Gophers regained an 11-point lead at 32-21 with 2:13 left in the first half, and ultimately took a 33-25 lead at halftime.
–Field Level Media