Elijah Hawkins scored 12 points with 11 assists and Minnesota overcame a 15-point halftime deficit and the loss of leading scorer Dawson Garcia to beat Nebraska 76-65 on Wednesday night.
Garcia, who had a career-high 36 points in the Gophers' Big Ten-opening loss against Ohio State, turned an ankle a couple minutes into the game. He returned late in the half and started the second half, but was favoring his ankle and soon took a seat with Minnesota (6-3, 1-1) trailing by 11.
A few minutes later Minnesota went on a 18-2 run and took a three-point lead. Joshua Ola-Joseph hit a 3-pointer and added two more buckets including a dunk in a subsequent run and Minnesota led by nine with under nine minutes remaining. Nebraska (7-2, 0-1) got within four with five minutes left but no closer with Hawkins hitting a 3-pointer with 2 1/2 minutes to go for an eight-point edge.
Ola-Joseph scored 15 points, Braeden Carrington 13 and Mike Mitchell Jr. and Pharrel Payne had 12 apiece for Minnesota, which outscored Nebraska 52-26 in the second half.
Brice Williams scored 18 points but only one in the second half for the Cornhuskers. Jamarques Lawrence added 16 points and Juwan Gary 11. Leading scorer Keisei Tominaga scored on just four free throws.
Nebraska is home on Sunday for its conference home opener against Michigan State then plays three nonconference games before resuming Big Ten play in January.
Minnesota plays Florida Gulf Coast on Saturday, the first of four straight nonconference home games before resuming league play in January.
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