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Gophers lead for all but 9.9 seconds in demoralizing loss to Missouri

Minnesota led for all but the final 9.9 seconds of the game.
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The Missouri Tigers ended the game on a 31-9 run to erase a 20-point second-half deficit and beat the Minnesota Gophers 70-68 at Williams Arena in Minneapolis Thursday night. 

The Gophers led 59-39 with 11:25 to play for the Tigers roared back, with Sean East II connecting on an and-1 with 9.9 seconds left to give the Tigers their first and only lead of the game. Minnesota hit just 3-of-12 shots and had seven turnovers after extending the lead to 20. They didn't make a shot in the final 6:03 of the game. 

Minnesota rushed the Tigers from the jump with five 3-pointers in the first five minutes for a 19-12 lead. They carried a 38-32 lead at the half and then opened the second half on an 8-0 run to go ahead 46-32. 

The second half momentum might've carried over from Pharrel Payne's transition block at the buzzer to end the first half. Payne struck again with just over 13 minutes left in the second half as Minnesota responded from a 9-0 Missouri run with four straight points before Payne elevated at the rim and swatted a shot that the Tigers rebounded to give Caleb Grill a look at an open 3, which he missed. 

But it was more than a miss as Grill, who was brushed by a closing out Payne, slapped the hardwood and then bumped the official and was assessed two technical fouls and ejected, and Dawson Garcia hit all four free throws to build the lead to 54-39. 

Another 3 from Mike Mitchell gave the Gophers a 20-point lead, 59-39, with 11:25 go go. Nick Honor then scored eight points in just 68 seconds to get the Tigers back within 12 at 59-47, and Missouri used that as fuel for a 24-6 run that cut Minnesota's lead to 65-63 with 3:35 to play. 

After a pair of free throws by Garcia boosted the lead to four, the Gophers got a defensive stop only to get called for a 10-second violation as Garcia moseyed up the court but didn't break the timeline in time. Missouri then hit three free throws after a foul on a 3-point attempt by Isaiah Ihnen and it was 67-66. 

Minnesota responded with an airball on a 3 by Mitchell before Tamar Bates was fouled to get to the line. Bates hit the first of the 1-and-1 to tie the game but missed the second. 

Garcia then drew a foul and had two free throws with the Gophers in the double bonus, but he hit just one of them for a 68-67 lead with 1:06 to go. That would be Mnnesota's last point of the game. 

After a Missouri miss, true freshman Cam Christie bricked a 3 and Missouri got the rebound and called time out with 16.6 seconds left, down by one. East then drove, pumped to get Mitchell in the air and then hit the shot and the and-1 free throw for a 70-68 lead with 9.9. seconds left. 

Minnesota's last shot was again Christie, who missed a long jumper and that was the ballgame.