No. 21 Minnesota tops AkronDec 16, 2010 - 5:19 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Trevor Mbakwe scored 13 points with 13 rebounds, and No. 21 Minnesota overcame another slow start for a 66-58 win over Akron.
Blake Hoffarber also scored 13 while Rodney Williams chipped in with 12 points and 10 rebounds as the Golden Gophers (10-1) collected their fourth straight win.
Steve McNees led Akron (4-4) with 12 points and Nikola Cvetinovic scored 11.
Akron shot 48 percent in the first half, made 5-of-11 three-pointers and jumped out to a 32-27 lead at intermission.
Minnesota, meanwhile, shot just 28 percent in the first half -- the third time in four games that Tubby Smith's team has gotten off to a slow start.
The Gophers led by just three points at halftime in a win over Eastern Kentucky on Saturday and by only one point in a victory over Cornell two weeks ago.
"We need to attack more. When you are missing easy shots, everyone is deflated," Smith said. "We are playing are some good teams here. We just need to start hitting shots."
Minnesota shot 63 percent in the final 20 minutes and held Akron to just 25 percent shooting, blowing the Zips out of Williams Arena with a 39-26 half.
Smith complimented Akron on how it played, but was relieved to get the win.
"The kids bounced back in the second half and hit some shots," he said. "I don't know why we keep having slow starts."
Akron head coach Keith Dambrot thought his team took a big step forward in competing with Minnesota.
"We showed terrific competitiveness," he said. "(But) I thought we made harder shots in the first half than we did in the second half."
Akron's Mike Bardo collected two points and three rebounds in 16 minutes despite playing with the flu...Minnesota shot 42 percent for the game, while Akron shot 35 percent.
- AKRON: 58
Dec 15 10:25 PM
- AKRON: 32
Dec 15 9:17 PM
- AKRON: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 15 8:37 PM
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