Dec 22, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA;Lafayette Leopards guard Tony Johnson (3) gets his shot blocked by Minnesota Golden Gophers forward Trevor Mbakwe (32) and Rodney Williams (33) during the first half at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Half-time: Mbakwe starts, Gophers up 37-22

The Lafayette Leopards scored 22 points in the first half against the No. 16 Minnesota Golden Gophers in the final non-conference tune-up before facing Michigan State New York Eve.

Despite a sluggish start, once the Gophers had loosened the Lafayette zone, Minnesota big-men Trevor Mbakwe and Mo Walker could not be boxed-out in the post. They each recorded two offensive rebounds early.

Mbakwe started his first game of the season, notching 5 points in the first half.

The Gophers have not played a game in 11-days and the rust showed. But mid-way through the first half, the Gophers seemingly broke out and went on a run to stretch the lead to double digits.

The Minnesota defense was superb against a Lafayette team that looked vastly out of place. The Gophers forced 11 turnovers and slowed a three-point shooting team to only one made three-pointer in 11 attempts.

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Tags: Basketball Gophers Minnesota Minnesota Golden Gophers Rodney Williams Trevor Mbakwe Tubby Smith

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