Ralph Sampson III had 15 points, six rebounds and four blocks as Minnesota edged North Dakota State 63-59 in college men's basketball Thursday, Dec. 22, before a crowd of 11,681 at Williams Arena.
Rodney Williams added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Gophers (12-1), who needed two free throws from Sampson with 13.8 seconds put it out of reach.
Taylor Braun had 13 points and 11 rebounds for North Dakota State (8-3), Dylan Hale scored a season-high 13 points, and Lawrence Alexander added 11 points.
North Dakota State opened a 14-2 lead to start the game as Minnesota scored only two field goals in the first 11 minutes. The Bison had an early 11-5 edge in rebounds.
Sampson and Williams combined for 14 points on a 14-3 run to tie it at 19. Minnesota led 32-29 at halftime and went up by as many as nine points early in the second half.
Braun had 10 of his 13 points in the second half, including a layup at the 7:48 mark that gave NDSU its last lead of the night at 53-52. But the Bison managed only two field goals the rest of the way.
NDSU finished with a 39-28 edge in total rebounds, including a 23-9 margin in the second half.
Marshall Bjorklund had nine points and nine rebounds, and Mike Felt had nine points on 3-of-8 shooting from the arc.
NDSU shot 42.6 percent overall including 6-for-22 on 3-pointers. The Bison were 7 of 14 at the foul line.
Maverick Ahanmisi added 13 points and three steals for the Gophers, who shot 45.7 percent from the floor and went 15-for-24 at the foul line.
North Dakota State is scheduled to host Oakland at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, and IPFW at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 30.