Minnesota falls to Oklahoma 67-54

The Minnesota Gophers men's basketball team lost for the second straight time, falling to Oklahoma 67-54 in the third-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout. Minnesota struggled with its shooting, going just 38% from the floor and 17% from three-point range.

Vincent Grier led Minnesota in scoring for the third time in four games with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Fellow JC transfer J'son Stamper grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and scored eight points off the bench.

The Gophers controlled the play for most of the first half, taking a 17-13 lead on a Grier layup with 8:55 to play. The Sooners tied the score at 17-17, but two free throws by Grier put Minnesota back up by two. The Gophers led 24-23, but Oklahoma scored eight of the final 10 points in the half to lead 31-26 at the half.

The Sooners quickly established themselves to start the second half, going on an 8-1 run to take a 39-27 lead with 16:29 on the clock. The lead continued to swell to a game-high 24 points at 63-39. The Gophers chipped away at the lead late in the game as Stamper and Aaron Robinson scored 10 of the final 11 points for Minnesota. The Gophers scored 12 straight points to cut the margin to 12 at 63-51 with a little over two minutes left in the game but could get no closer.

Jeff Hagen added nine points for the Gophers and Dan Coleman scored eight. Minnesota had 11 steals and forced 22 Sooner turnovers.

Oklahoma was led by Terrell Everett and Kevin Bookout with 13 points each. Everett is a junior college transfer who was recruited by the Gophers last spring. Minneapolis Patrick Henry graduates Lawrence McKenzie had five points and Johnnie Gilbert grabbed three boards in the win. Longar Longar, who attended Rochester John Marshall finished with six rebounds and three blocked shots. The Sooners shot 53% from the floor and outrebounded the Gophers by eight in the game.

Minnesota returns home to face Florida State on Tuesday night as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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