Men's basketball: Gophers suffer first loss
C.J. Fair scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds as Syracuse won their opening game 75-67 over Minnesota on Monday at the Maui Invitational.
Trevor Cooney contributed 15 points on 5-for-11 shooting from 3-point range for Syracuse, which will play California in Tuesday’s semifinals. Tyler Ennis and Jerami Grant contributed 12 points apiece for the Orange (5-0).
Malik Smith scored 16 points off the bench to lead Minnesota (5-1). Andre Hollins added 14 points and Austin Hollins tallied 11 while Elliott Eliason contributed nine rebounds and five blocks for the Gophers.
Cooney made two 3-pointers in the first four minutes as the Orange quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead. Cooney had 12 points in the first half as the Gophers closed the gap to 39-36 at the break.
The deficit was only two when Fair hit a pull-up jumper with 1:45 remaining to double Syracuse’s lead and the Gophers were unable to crawl any closer. The Gophers converted one field goal in the final five minutes on a jumper from Austin Hollins with 11 seconds left.
Notes: Minnesota coach Richard Pitino is the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who got his start as an assistant to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. ... Gophers C Maurice Walker will be eligible to play against Arkansas on Tuesday after being suspended the first six games for violating university policy. ... Minnesota committed 19 turnovers.