for this game

Minnesota holds off Cornell

Dec 5, 2010 - 5:35 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Ralph Sampson III had 13 points and six rebounds to help 15th-ranked Minnesota take a 71-66 win over Cornell.

Blake Hoffarber had 13 points and five rebounds while Trevor Mbakwe added 12 points and 16 boards for the Golden Gophers (7-1), who bounced back from a loss to Virginia on Monday.

"We needed to get this win no matter what," said Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith. "I thought our guys really showed a lot of grit, something we didn't do against Virginia. I asked guys to make plays and they did."

Errick Peck had 16 points, six rebounds and five assists and Chris Wroblewski donated 16 points and six helpers for the Big Red (2-6), who have dropped five straight.

"For us it's all about getting better," said Cornell head coach Bill Courtney. "It did not necessarily show up this week because we played Syracuse and Minnesota, but we did get better this week. For us it's about winning our league and I think we made some steps towards that today."

Wroblewski hit a three-pointer with 1:22 to play to cut Cornell's deficit to 65-63, but Devoe Joseph countered with a jumper with 57 seconds left. Two free throws from Mbakwe the next time down sealed the win.

Minnesota trailed for most of the first half but scored the final seven points of the opening 20 minutes to take a 34-33 lead into the break.

Game Notes

Minnesota plays at Saint Joseph's on Wednesday...Cornell has off for the next two weeks, and the next time the team plays is on December 18 at Binghamton...The Golden Gophers have taken five of the six games against the Big Red.