Gophers rip Northeastern State 109-59: “I waited a long time for this,” Mbakwe said. “I finally got a chance to play, and I’ve just got to keep building on this. I was disappointed with how many rebounds I had, but it was game one and it’s going to be a long season. I’m excited to be back.”

A Minny-blitz: NSU waxed by Big 10 foe: “I thought our guys were focused and ready,” said Smith, whose team made the NCAA Tournament last season. “We did some good things in sharing the basketball and establishing the tempo early in the game. We made shots, we pushed it up the court, we got in transition and really defended well. Those are things you use to win basketball games.”

Gophers cruise in exhibition opener: “Any time one player’s getting energy, that’s what you want, to pick up the other guys if they’re not doing as well,” Hoffarber said about Sampson’s start. “Ralph’s energy definitely helped us, and he played a great game.”


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