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November 18, 2010Sign-up for InsideHilltopperSports.com Wireless Text Alerts sent right to your cell phone!
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Trevor Mbakwe had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Ralph Sampson III scored 22 points and Minnesota beat Western Kentucky 95-77 on Thursday night in the opening round of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.
Rodney Williams scored 17 points, and Blake Hoffarber had 16 points and nine assists for the Golden Gophers (3-0). They'll move on to play No. 8 North Carolina on Friday in the eight-team tournament.
Steffphon Pettigrew scored 25 points and Sergio Kerusch had 13 for Western Kentucky (2-1).
Pettigrew hit two 3-pointers late to make it a 10-point game. The comeback was too late against a balanced Minnesota team that may be coach Tubby Smith's best one yet.
The Golden Gophers went 21 for 31 from the field in the second half.
WKU will play Hofstra in the consolation bracket tomorrow at 5 PM CT. The game will be televised on ESPN3.com.