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USA TODAY Sports Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas dunks over Minnesota center Elliott Eliason (55) during the first round of the Maui Invitational on Monday at the Lahaina Center in Maui.

Men's basketball: Gophers suffer first loss

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Men's basketball: Gophers suffer first loss
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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.

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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.

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