MINNEAPOLIS (Ticker) -- This matchup proved to be fairly ridiculous for Minnesota.
Michael Bauer scored 14 of his career-high 26 points in the first half as the 25th-ranked Golden Gophers remained unbeaten at home with a 104-66 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson.
Bauer was perfect from the floor, making all eight shots with six 3-pointers. The 6-8 forward also was 4-of-5 at the line.
"I didn't realize how well I was shooting until I made my fifth 3-pointer," Bauer said. "Then I hit my sixth, and that got me pretty psyched. The whole crowd was feeding off my energy and it felt unbelievable. It's a shame I missed one free throw."
Minnesota (6-1) entered off a difficult 86-84 overtime victory over Arkansas-Little Rock on Monday, needing a big game from star forward Rick Rickert. Fairleigh Dickinson was much less of an obstacle, allowing the Golden Gophers to shoot over 58 percent (18-of-31) in the first half and falling into a 50-31 hole.
Maurice Hargrow and Rickert opened the game with easy baskets and Ben Johnson's 3-pointer made it 7-0. Freshman Stan Gaines' 3-pointer gave Minnesota its first double-digit lead at 24-12 with 11:40 to go.
Steve Esselink scored five points in a 9-0 run for a 39-21 advantage with 5:36 to go. Minnesota held a 20-6 advantage in points in the paint in the first half.
The Golden Gophers improved to 6-0 at home and broke the 100-point barrier for the first time. They try for their first road win in eight days when they travel to Oregon.
"This victory gives us a lot of confidence going into Oregon," Minnesota guard Kevin Burleson said. "I think we match up well with them and this team wants to prove that it can win on the road."
Fairleigh Dickinson (4-2) was led by Lionel Bomayako, who scored all 11 of his points in the first half. The Knights shot just 36 percent (24-of-67) ad had nine shots blocked.
The Knights used some hot shooting from beyond the arc to make the game somewhat competitive in the first half. Bomayako drilled three 3-pointers as Fairleigh Dickinson made 8-of-17 in the first 20 minutes before colling to connect on 3-of-14 in the second half.
"Our defense gave us a lot of easy scoring chances tonight," Bauer said. "Anytime you are able to create your offense from your defense, you are going to have the opportunity to score a lot of points. That happened for us tonight."
Bauer drilled four 3-pointers in the second half to extend the margin for Minnesota. His previous career high was a 21-point outing against Georgia on November 19, 2000.
Johnson netted 16 points and Hargrow added 12 as Minnesota placed four players in double figures. Rickert was not among them as he played just 20 minutes and scored five points on 2-of-5 shooting.
"This was a good game for us in the standpoint that we were able to give quality playing time for some of the guys who usually do not see it," Minnesota coach Dan Monson said. "I am pleased with the effort that we showed tonight."
The Gophers shot a sizzling 61 percent (14-of-23) from beyond the arc as Johnson supplemented Bauer's night with four 3-pointers. Jeff Hagen grabbed seven rebounds as Minnesota held a commanding 49-27 edge on the boards.
Matt Hammond and Neven Cuzela each added 10 points for the Knights.