Junior point guard Marcus Carr scored a career-high 24 points and handed out nine assists to steer Minnesota to a 78-60 Big Ten/ACC Challenge win over Clemson on Monday night at Williams Arena.
Sophomore center Daniel Oturu contributed 21 points and four blocks in 24 foul-plagued minutes for Minnesota (4-4). Sophomore shooting guard Gabe Kalscheur added 15 points as the Gophers shot 53.8 percent from the field and never trailed.
Junior guard Hunter Tyson came off the bench to score 12 points for Clemson (5-3), which played without three members of their anticipated rotation. Junior forward Aamir Simms added 11 points and six rebounds.
Minnesota's lead was just 35-29 at the break as foul trouble limited Oturu to just eight minutes. He scored nine points on 4-of-4 shooting, but picked up his third foul on an illegal screen with 3:41 left. Carr, who posted a season-low four points in Minnesota's home loss to DePaul on Nov. 29, stepped in for 11 points and five assists in the first half.
The Gophers blew open the game with a 10-1 run to start the second half. They started by force-feeding Oturu in the post for a layup, then Carr raced for a transition layup and Kalscheur cashed a 3-pointer. When Kalscheur fed Oturu in the paint for another powerful layup, Clemson coach Brad Brownell had little choice but to call a timeout with 16:38 left and the Gophers holding a 45-30 lead.
Carr added a 3-pointer shortly after the timeout as the Gophers maintained a comfortable double-digit lead the rest of the way.
Clemson mounted a mini-rally as junior guard Hunter Tyson swished a 3-pointer from the top of the key and sophomore forward Khavon Moore hit a runner to cut the margin to 62-50 with 8:15 to play.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino called a timeout to slow the Tigers. Carr promptly slashed for a layup and sank a 3-pointer to restore the Gophers' 17-point margin.
--Field Level Media