Mbakwe leads Minnesota past Bucknell 70-58

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Trevor Mbakwe helped Minnesota pull away from Bucknell with 13 of his 17 points in the second half and the Gophers beat the Bison 70-58 Friday in their season opener.

Mbakwe took a beating underneath and spent much of the game on the floor, but he grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double and went 9 for 13 from the free-throw line to help the Gophers end the game on a 22-5 run and avoid defeat at home to start a season for the first time in 23 years.

Bison star Mike Muscala had 12 points and 11 rebounds in his home state, and Bryson Johnson made four 3-pointers in the first half to finish with 16 points. Cameron Ayers added 13 points.