MINNEAPOLIS (AP)Payton Willis made five 3-pointers and finished with 17 points to lead four in double figures as Minnesota beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 79-71 on Tuesday night.
The Golden Gophers opened on a 14-4 run and had a double-digit lead for most of the game. Willis’ 3-pointer stretched the advantage to 26 points early in the second half.
Willis finished 6 of 8 from the field. Jamison Battle and E.J. Stephens added 16 points apiece and Luke Loewe had 12 for Minnesota (9-1). Battle, Stephens and Loewe each made two 3-pointers.
The Golden Gophers shot 25 of 43 (58%) from the floor and 11 of 21 (52%) from beyond the arc. They had a 42-23 rebounding advantage but also had 28 turnovers.
Terrion Murdix scored 18 points to lead Texas A&M-CC (9-2), which had its eight-game win streak snapped. Jalen Jackson added 15 points. Trevian Tennyson had 11 points and Isaac Mushila scored 10.
The Islanders pulled within eight points four times in the second half but didn’t get closer.
Minnesota, which beat Michigan 75-65 in its Big Ten opener, plays two nonconference games at home before continuing conference play hosting Illinois on Jan. 2. The Islanders host Lamar on Saturday.
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