Watch Now:

Minnesota steps up in competition with matchup vs. Mizzou

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will try to maintain their perfect start to the season when they host the Missouri Tigers on Thursday night in Minneapolis.

Minnesota (2-0) is coming off victories over Bethune-Cookman and UTSA. The Golden Gophers won their first game by 20 points and their second by 26 points.

Now comes Minnesota's toughest test yet.

Missouri (2-1) knocked off Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville but fell short against Memphis. The Tigers are looking to rediscover their strength from a season ago, when they posted a 25-10 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Tigers coach Dennis Gates is glad to have his players face the challenge of a team such as the Golden Gophers.

"I want to throw our guys into a high level of competition," Gates said. "Our entire schedule is built a certain way to have an ebb-and-flow response. I believe it will help us in the long run."

Gates said every miscue early in the season offers a teaching moment.

"Recovering from mistakes and having awareness, I believe it does help our confidence," Gates said. "Being able to identify those things in film the next day when you debrief allows guys to move forward."

Missouri will have to prepare for Minnesota freshman Cam Christie, who is coming off a stellar performance in his collegiate debut. The four-star recruit and younger brother of Los Angeles Lakers guard Max Christie scored 18 points against UTSA, which marked the most points for a true freshman in his Golden Gophers debut since Kris Humphries began with a 26-point outing in 2003.

"He did a good job playing with pace," Minnesota coach Ben Johnson said. "I don't think he really tried to force the issue. I thought he took good shots, shots he's taken in practice. He's a good shooter."

Missouri is led by guard Sean East II, who is averaging 18.3 points per game. Noah Carter ranks second on the team at 13.3 points per contest.

--Field Level Media

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.