Men’s basketball: Dawson Garcia hits game-winner in Gophers’ 62-61 OT win over Cal Baptist

Minnesota (4-1) will play UNLV on Wednesday night for the neutral-site tournament championship.

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Dawson Garcia came up big at the biggest moment Monday.

With five seconds remaining, Garcia’s jumper through contact put the Gophers ahead for good in a 62-61 overtime win over California Baptist on Monday night in the SoCal Challenge in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

Minnesota (4-1) will play UNLV on Wednesday night for the neutral-site tournament championship. The Running Rebels beat Southern Illinois 56-49 after the Gophers game.

Garcia dealt with foul trouble early Monday, but finished with 10 points on 5 of 10 shooting.

Cal Baptist (3-2) had turned heads with a wire-to-wire win over Washington on Thursday and was a 1-1/2-point favorite.


Dawson Garcia

Minnesota staked a 15-0 lead in the opening eight minutes as Cal Baptist missed its first nine shots and its best player Taran Armstrong picked up two fouls. He was scoreless and sat for the final 14 minutes of the half.

Armstrong came on strong with 24 points in the second half and overtime, but missed a running layup that would have won the game in the final seconds of regulation. He also missed a last-second shot in overtime.

Mara Braun, who had a career-high 34 points and a buzzer-beater in a 101-99 victory over Lehigh, scored a game-high 27 points.
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Virginia Tech (7-1) was a 12-point favorite over Minnesota (4-3) and rolled to an easy victory.
Minnesota had aspirations to reach the Big Ten title game. But the Gophers lost crucial intra-division games to Purdue, Illinois and Iowa, and it cost them a Big Ten West championship.
The Gophers will be back in action on Wednesday, where they’ll take on Wake Forest in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge at 7 p.m. at The Barn.
Minnesota is the No. 2 seed in its region and will play Friday at Maturi Pavilion.
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Jamison Battle made his season debut Monday and didn’t shoot well after missing the first four games of the season. He went 4 for 15 for 11 points.

Minnesota led 26-18 at the half, with Pharrel Payne setting the pace with seven points and seven rebounds. He finished with a team-high 15 points and 13 rebounds.


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