Gophers escape with exhibition win over Winona StateMinnesota Sports
-- The University of Minnesota men's basketball trailed early in its exhibition game against Winona State, then built an 18-point second half lead, watched it get trimmed to five points late in the game, and held on to beat the Warriors 78-72.
MINNEAPOLIS - The University of Minnesota men's basketball trailed early in its exhibition game against Winona State, then built an 18-point second half lead, watched it get trimmed to five points late in the game, and held on to beat the Warriors 78-72.
Winona State's Anthony Tucker, a transfer from Iowa, scored a game-high 24 points, followed by 22 points from Jon Walburg. Minnesota was led by Rodney Williams' 12 points. Trevor Mbakwe recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards in his Golden Gopher debut
Gopher guard Devoe Joseph did not play in the 78-72 exhibition win over Winona State last night. Head coach Tubby Smith first told reporters that Joseph could have played in the game, but the native Canadian was feeling "under the weather" and still nursing a leg injury, so they chose to keep him out of competition. Smith later suggested there may be more to Joseph's absence. Smith says he will made some decisions about Joseph's status with the team in a day or two. Joseph helped lead the Gophers to their first-ever appearance in the Big Ten Tournament title game last March.
Former Golden Gopher basketball player Royce White of Minneapolis will not be able to take the court this season at Iowa State. He transferred to the school this summer after leaving Minnesota during the second semester last year. White was suspended from the Gopher team for most of last year. He had applied for a waiver to become eligible immediately at Iowa State, but the NCAA officially denied that waiver request this week. Iowa State has appealed, but it is unlikely the NCAA will change its verdict. That means White will have to continue to attend school this year and remain in good academic standing in order to play next season for the Cyclones. White was one of the top 50 high school recruits in the nation when he signed with Tubby Smith in 2009 to play for the Gophers. White helped lead Hopkins to the 2009 state championship