December 8, 2018 / 11:29 PM / 3 days ago

Oturu scores 19, paces Minnesota's romp over Arkansas State

Daniel Oturu scored 19 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Minnesota defeated visiting Arkansas State 72-56 Saturday afternoon in a nonconference game.

Dupree McBrayer added 14 points and Amir Coffey scored 12 for the Golden Gophers (8-2), who improved to 5-0 at home. They also improved to 13-1 all-time against current members of the Sun Belt Conference.

Ty Cockfield scored 20 points and Tristin Walley had 14 for Arkansas State (3-6), which had won two of its previous three games. Cockfield, who scored 20 or more points for the fifth consecutive game, shot just 7-for-24 from the field.

The Gophers avoided any letdown after an 85-78 victory against No. 24 Nebraska on Wednesday.

Minnesota outscored the Red Wolves 21-2 over the opening seven minutes as Arkansas State missed 10 of its first 11 field-goal attempts.

Gabe Kalscheur made a 3-pointer and Oturu converted a three-point play to give the Gophers a 6-0 lead.

After a layup by Arkansas State’s Christian Willis, Kalscheur made another 3-pointer to spark a 15-0 run.

The Red Wolves settled down and trimmed the halftime deficit to 41-24 despite shooting 9 for 34 from the field (26.5 percent).

Oturu had 12 points and nine rebounds before the intermission.

The Red Wolves cut their deficit to 12 points three times in the second half but couldn’t pull any closer.

Arkansas State shot 20 of 64 (31.3 percent), compared to Minnesota’s 24 of 54 (44.4 percent). The Gophers were 8-for-17 from 3-point range, 16-for-24 from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Red Wolves 44-37.

Minnesota’s Jordan Murphy, who broke Jim Brewer’s 45-year-old record with his 52nd career double-double Wednesday, scored just seven points but had 12 rebounds, four assists and three blocked shots.

In the only previous meeting between the schools, Minnesota won 82-75 two years ago.

The game was set up because Arkansas State coach Mike Balado formerly was an assistant to Minnesota coach Richard Pitino at Florida International.

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