MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Blake Hoffarber and Lawrence Westbrook scored 15 points apiece Tuesday, keying undefeated and 23rd-ranked Minnesota's 80-71 win over Southeastern Louisiana.
Damian Johnson added 13 points, four assists and four rebounds as the Golden Gophers improved to 11-0 in their first outing since cracking the national rankings for the first time in six years. Minnesota is off to its best start in more than three decades, having started 10-0 in 1976-77.
Kevyn Green scored 22 points for the Lions (6-5). Patrick Sullivan added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The two teams exchanged the lead throughout the first half but a Travis Busch three-pointer put Minnesota up 40-36 at halftime. Baskets by Westbrook, Johnson and Ralph Sampson III gave the Gophers a 46-36 lead early in the second half and Minnesota maintained control from that point on.