Blake Hoffarber's 26 points and Minnesota's improved perimeter defense helped the Gophers outlast eighth-ranked Purdue 70-67 on Thursday night. JaJuan Johnson had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-1 Big Ten), whose 10-game winning streak ended. They also lost for the first time in nine conference road games, dating to last January.
Gophers leading scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe, dropped from the starting lineup because of a misdemeanor charge of violating a harassment restraining order, played plenty after entering the game less than four minutes in — just seconds after students started a "We want Trevor!" chant.
Mbakwe had seven points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for Minnesota (13-4, 2-3). He was arrested Monday night after sending a message on Facebook to a former girlfriend who filed the order against him.
Al Nolen's three-pointer near the three-minute mark was the game's final score, giving the Gophers a three-point edge.
Never miss a local story.
West Virginia 93, Providence 63: John Flowers scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Mountaineers at home. It was the first time he'd ever surpassed 20 points in a college game. Kevin Jones scored 19 points with 13 rebounds, and Casey Mitchell and Deniz Kilicli scored 14 apiece to help WVU (11-4, 3-2 Big East) dispatch the Friars (11-7, 0-5).
Memphis: Junior forward Wesley Witherspoon has been suspended indefinitely, Coach Josh Pastner said after practice Thursday, citing an internal matter and not elaborating on the reason.
Southern Methodist: Former Texas player Shawn Williams is transferring to SMU. The Dallas native left the Longhorns just before the season started in November. The 6-foot-7 forward will have to sit out until the end of the fall semester in December.
Eastern Kentucky 63, Eastern Illinois 49: Warren Central graduate Joshua Jones led all scorers with 16 points, and Josh Daniel added 14 as the Colonels rolled on the road. Daniel hit four of seven three-point shots for EKU (8-9, 3-4 Ohio Valley Conference).
Troy 82, Western Kentucky 68: The Toppers' Sergio Kerusch had 24 points and 13 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to overcome a 54-36 drubbing on the boards. Vernon Taylor led Troy with 20 points, and Western fell to 5-10 overall and 0-3 in the Sun Belt.
Pikeville 95, Rio Grande 72: Senior Andre Thornton led four players in double figures with 18 points, and the Bears (15-4, 4-3 Mid-South Conference) won at home.
Kentucky Wesleyan 97, Rockhurst 63: Anthony Young had 20 points and 14 rebounds off the bench, and five players scored in double figures as the Panthers won easily at home.
Northern Kentucky 65, Maryville 34: Sophomore guard Jaimie Hamlet scored a career-high 19 points, and the host Norse picked up their fourth straight win. Hamlet finished 7-for-10 from the field, including five three-pointers, for NKU (12-3, 6-1 Great Lakes Valley Conference). The Norse are in first place in the East Division.
Pikeville 87, Rio Grande 76: Natiera Hinton had 33 points and 15 rebounds, and the host Bears survived a 17-0 run in the middle of the first half to win their second straight after dropping their first five Mid-South Conference games. Pikeville native Sally Roberts added 19 points and 13 boards.
Kentucky Wesleyan 67, Rockhurst 40: Kourtney Rhoads scored 16 points to lead the host Panthers (8-5, 2-4 GLVC), who held Rockhurst to 25 percent shooting in the second half.