Gophers win without Joseph
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Tom Crean didn't need a scouting report on Trevor Mbakwe.
The Indiana coach recruited Mbakwe to Marquette back in 2007 and coached him for a year before leaving to take over the reeling Hoosiers.
Mbakwe followed Crean out the door and, after a roundabout two years, has emerged as a dominant force for Minnesota. And after another tough week for the program, coach Tubby Smith and the Golden Gophers have never needed Mbakwe more.
Mbakwe scored 11 points and tied career highs with 16 rebounds and five blocks to lead Minnesota to a 67-63 victory over Indiana on Tuesday night, the Golden Gophers' first Big Ten victory of the season.
Rodney Williams scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half to help the Gophers (12-3, 1-2) rally from nine points down. Al Nolen added 14 points, six rebounds and four steals to help them hang on for the win on the same day versatile guard Devoe Joseph was granted his release from the program.
Smith announced Monday that Joseph would be suspended for the second time this season for violating team rules. But Joseph said goodbye for good Tuesday.
"It was a real tough win for us and one we needed with the distractions of late," Smith said. "With Devoe Joseph leaving the team, you always wonder about how your team is going to respond. I thought our kids came ready to play. They did some good things and some poor things."