MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jordan Murphy had 30 points and 16 rebounds, and Daniel Oturu added 20 points and 11 boards as the Minnesota Gophers hung on to beat North Carolina A&T 86-67 on Friday night.
Dupree McBrayer had 13 points for Minnesota (10-2, 1-1 Big Ten), which has won five of its past six games and overcame a poor shooting night by going inside to Murphy and Oturu.
The Gophers were 4 of 20 from 3-point territory. Minnesota outrebounded the Aggies 49-30 and held a 56-30 edge in points in the paint and used the tactic to overcome an early scare.
Qua Copeland led North Carolina A&T (4-7) with 19 points and Ibrahim Sylla added 11.
Fresh off a loss at No. 13 Virginia Tech, North Carolina A&T was ready to run with the Gophers. The Aggies hit 11 of their first 18 shots and held a 25-15 advantage before Minnesota turned to Murphy to reclaim momentum.
With Murphy scoring seven points, the Gophers used an 18-2 run to take control. The lead grew to 14 points early in the second half, but North Carolina A&T fought back again and got within seven.
North Carolina A&T: The Aggies got the test they were looking for this week. Playing tough competition ended in back-to-back losses but should pay dividends when North Carolina A&T gets into Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play. The schedule eases a bit and the Aggies get a week off.
Minnesota: The Gophers haven’t always been pretty, but they’ve taken care of business in the easier portion of their schedule. They play Mount St. Mary’s after a week off and then the bulk of Big Ten schedule begins.
North Carolina A&T plays at Eastern Carolina on Dec. 28.
Minnesota hosts Mount St. Mary’s on Dec. 30.
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