Jamison Battle hit a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to give Minnesota a stunning, come-from-behind, 75-74 win over Rutgers on Thursday in Minneapolis.
The Golden Gophers (8-20, 2-16 Big Ten) trailed by 10 points with 1:15 left, but they ended the game with a 15-4 surge that included three 3-pointers by Battle.
Battle finished with 20 points for Minnesota, which earned its first home win of the season in conference play and ended a 12-game losing streak. Dawson Garcia added 19 points and Pharrel Payne contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Clifford Omoruyi had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Cam Spencer scored 21 points for Rutgers (18-12, 10-9).
Rutgers was up 70-60 with just over a minute to go, but Dawson hit two jumpers to spark the comeback. Minnesota pulled within 72-67 with 43 seconds remaining after a 3-pointer by Battle.
After Spencer made 1 of 2 free throws with 36.3 seconds left, the Gophers cut the lead to 73-70 with 22 seconds remaining when Battle hit another trey.
Battle then stole a Rutgers pass and attempted a game-tying 3-pointer, but he missed.
Minnesota got the ball back after the rebound went out of bounds off of Rutgers, and the Gophers cut the gap to 73-72 on a putback by Jaden Henley with 6.5 seconds remaining.
Minnesota fouled Rutgers’ Caleb McConnell, who split a pair of free throws with 5.3 seconds remaining to make it 74-72.
The Golden Gophers moved up court and then got the ball on the wing in front of the Minnesota bench to Battle, who pump-faked a defender and drained an open 3-pointer just before the horn sounded to give Minnesota the win.
Rutgers led by as many as 14 points in the second half, but Minnesota cut the deficit to 61-54 with 5:53 remaining on a 3-pointer by Ta’Lon Cooper.
Rutgers built its lead back up to 66-56 with 4:01 to go, but then Payne brought Minnesota to within 68-60 on a layup with 2:57 left.
The Golden Gophers didn’t score again until there was 1:03 remaining, when Garcia hit a runner to bring Minnesota within 70-62.
The Scarlet Knights lost for the fifth time in seven games.
–Field Level Media