Maui, Hawaii-On the strength of a 30-10 run to open the second frame and five players in double figures, the Arkansas men’s basketball team turned a five-point halftime deficit into a convincing 87-73 win over Big Ten foe Minnesota Tuesday morning on ESPN2 at the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational held the Lahaina Civic Center.
The win moves Arkansas to 4-1 on the young season and sets up a showdown with No. 11 Gonzaga (5-1) on Wednesday at 4 p.m. CT on ESPN2. Receiving votes in this week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll, Minnesota (5-2) has held three opponents in the 50s this season, but gave up 52 second half points to Arkansas.
“This is a good win for us, especially after a disappointment last night against California,” said head coach Mike Anderson. “Short term memory, that’s what we talk about. But I was proud of our guys, the effort, and the way they finished off the game in fine fashion. I put a challenge in front of them. I liked the toughness, especially going to the glass, loose balls, and competing for 40 minutes.”
Anderson’s challenge was answered with balance on both ends of the court, as five players reached double figures for the second time this season while the Razorbacks shot 55 percent (30-55) from the floor, 47 percent from three (8-17) and 86 percent (19-22) from the line against a Gopher defense that came in allowing just 63.8 points per game while limiting opponents to less than 40 percent from the field.