Morris Powers Golden Gophers Past Seahawks, 108-82, In Minneapolis

By / Local Sports / Tuesday, 30 December 2014 05:00

Junior guard Carlos Morris scored a career-high 24 points, including 10 in a decisive 19-0 run late in the first half, as Minnesota raced past UNCW, 108-82, in a non-conference men's basketball matinee Saturday at Williams Arena.
 The Golden Gophers raised their record to 11-2 with the win before 12,711 at historic Williams Arena. The Seahawks lost their second in a row and had their record evened at 5-5 on the season.
"I thought we competed well today, but the problem was that we gave the game away in the first half," said UNCW Head Coach Kevin Keatts, whose team committed 16 of its 20 turnovers in the opening period. "You just can't turn the ball over against a good, explosive transition team. We put ourselves in huge hole by turning the ball over in the first half."
Morris, a sweeping 6-5, 175-pounder from Apalachicola, Fla., made 8-of-15 field goals and was perfect on all seven of his free throw attempts to anchor five players in double figures for Minnesota. Freshman guard Nate Mason added 18 points, senior forward Maurice Walker chipped in 17, and senior guard DeAndre Mathieu and sophomore forward Charles Buggs had 13 apiece for the Gophers, who shot 59.7 percent on the day. Senior guard Freddie Jackson paced UNCW with 21 points. Senior guard Addison Spruill and junior playmaker Craig Ponder collected 12 points each and freshman guard Malik Pugh finished with 10 points off the bench.
UNCW led by as many as nine points early in the first half before the Golden Gophers capitalized on a rash of miscues and stunned the Seahawks with 19 unanswered points late in the period. Richard Pitino's club led by 16 points at intermission and outscored the Seahawks by 10 points after the break. "I felt like we were in great shape early," said Keatts. "If you take the stat sheet away and look at it, you don't know who won the game until you look at the turnovers. The different was steals and turnovers.
"We got careless with the basketball. We comprehended the scouting report and knew what was going on. You take the turnovers away, it's a different game. In college basketball, you can't have 16 turnovers in the first half and expect to win." UNCW used hot shooting to jump out quickly on the Golden Gophers, making seven of its first nine field goal attempts, to lead, 22-17, when Jackson drained the second of back-to-back three-pointers at the 9:30 mark.
 The Seahawks were still out front, 31-23, when Cedrick Williams canned a baseline jumper at 7:21 before the Golden Gophers came alive.
Walker scored on putback inside to start the suffocating run and Morris scored 10 points in the 19-0 spurt, including both ends of a bonus situation at 3:13 that capped the rally and put Minnesota ahead, 42-31. The margin ballooned to 54-35 with 34 seconds remaining in the period when Morris made a layup and Mathieu converted a pair of free throws after Keatts was tagged with a technical foul by lead official Terry Oglesby. Pugh drained an off-balance three-pointer as time expired to cut the halftime deficit to 54-38.
Minnesota opened the final period with consecutive dunks by Buggs and Walker and a conventional three-point play by Morris extended the score to 70-49 at the 14:10 mark.
The Golden Gophers posted their largest lead of the contest with 6:47 left to play on a basket by Morris on the right side that made the score, 93-67.
UNCW outrebounded the Big Ten Conference opponent, 39-27, and had seven blocks in the contest. But the Golden Gophers went 40-of-67 from the floor and sank 10-of-16 triples for an efficient offensive game to go along with 13 steals – a high for UNCW opponents this season.
 
GAME NOTES: The Seahawks did not attempt a free throw in the first half…DeAndre Mathieu had 11 assists for the Golden Gophers…After committing 16 turnovers in the first half, the Seahawks had just four miscues after the break…The two teams combined for 28-of-33 at the free throw line…Freshman guard Jordon Talley dished out a career-high seven assists for UNCW…C.J. Gettys had three blocks for UNCW…The Seahawks came up with 17 offensive rebounds…UNCW is 1-1 lifetime against Minnesota…The Seahawks are 5-5 in non-conference play this season…UNCW has lost two games in a row for the first time…C.J. Gettys paced the Seahawks with nine boards…The 108 points scored by the Golden Gophers was the most by an opponent since Wake Forest won, 120-88, on Nov. 19, 2008, in Winston-Salem...The Seahawks have played seven of their 10 games away from Trask Coliseum.

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