Gophers nearly blow lead again, but hang on for win over Georgia


After blowing a lead and losing Wednesday's game against St. John's, the Gophers (4-2) bounced back with a win over the Georgia Bulldogs (3-3) on Friday in the NIT Season Tip-Off tournament. Final score: 66-62.

No. 10 Gonzaga plays St. John's for the tournament title.

Much like their game against St. John's (led by nine at the half), the Gophers took a 12-point lead into the second half. But Georgia kept fighting; back-to-back 3-pointers in the final minute of the game cut Minnesota's lead to three points, 65-62. The Bulldogs hit just one 3-pointer in the first 39 minutes of the game before connecting on two straight.

But that's as close as Georgia would get. DeAndre Mathieu hit one of two free throws to put the Gophers up by four, but a pair of misses at the line by Joey King gave the Bulldogs the ball, down by four, with 10 seconds left. But they struggled to get the ball up the floor and missed on a buzzer beater that wouldn't have tied the game anyway.

The Gophers were hot from 3-point land, hitting 10 of 22 from beyond the arc. King and Charles Buggs hit three 3-pointers each. King finished with a game-high 15 points.

Mathieu had 12 points and five assists.

Next up for the Gophers is the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, where they'll play at Wake Forest on Tuesday.

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