Minnesota never trailed [Ed. note — apparently they trailed 3-2 early on] in their second and final exhibition game, running the UW-Green Bay Phoenix out of the gym in a 115-86 victory at Maturi Pavilion. Six players scored in double figures while the team shot 59 percent from the field in a dominating performance.
Amir Coffey was the story of the game on offense, leading all scorers with 26 points on an impressive 10-15 shooting while delivering five assists.
But Isaiah Washington wasn’t far behind. He was lightning in a bottle off the bench, and previewed what the Gophers can expect this season from the presumed sixth man. Racking up 24 points and six assists, he sliced through the lane, created his own shot and even mixed in some streetball moves. He showed excellent poise running the game by himself and also as an on-court complement to Nate Mason. He finished 7-11 from the field and was 9-12 from the line.
The rest of the starting five was highy effective. Jordan Murphy had a quiet double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 19 minutes while Nate Mason stuffed the stat sheet with 15 points, three assists and seven boards. Reggie Lynch swatted six blocks and scored six points.
Freshman Jamir Harris also flashed his shooting prowess, delivering 13 points and hitting three threes in 15 minutes. He looked confident and his performance is hopefully a harbinger of things to come, as he was considered one of the best shooters in his class.
And how about Bakary Konate? The senior center found his way into double digits with 10 points on four dunks and a couple free throws.
Returning four of five starters from last season, the chemistry was palpable from the beginning as the Gophers raced out to a 17-5 lead and never really looked back, taking a 58-37 lead into halftime behind 16 Coffey points and an all-around performance from Jordan Murphy.
A last-minute addition to the pre-season schedule, the Gophers brought Green Bay to town in a fundraiser for hurricane relief to benefit Puerto Rico. Fans were treated to the game with $10 general admission tickets in the first-ever men’s basketball game in the arena.
Minnesota begins the regular season at home against USC Upstate on Friday.