Big finish lifts Minnesota past Kansas City in Johnson debut

Jamison Battle scored 18 points, Minnesota allowed just four points over the final seven minutes and the Golden Gophers defeated Kansas City 71-56 on Monday night in the season opener for both teams.

The win came in coach Ben Johnson’s debut with the Gophers. Minnesota led 46-35 with 13:17 remaining in the second half but the Roos went on a 17-8 run to draw within 54-52 with 7:42 remaining.

Luke Loewe and EJ Stephens combined to score the game’s next 10 points for Minnesota and the Gophers led 64-52 with 3:44 to go.