The Gophers salvaged their season opener to beat the Bison 70-58 Friday night at Williams Arena.
The Gophers scored 25 points in the last five minutes of play and looked like a team capable of holding its own in the Big Ten, according to the Star Tribune.
Minnesota missed 12 free throws and went 7 for 25 from the field in the second half, but scrappy play allowed them to remain in the game, reports the Associated Press.
"I think the main thing was keeping confidence up," Austin Hollins said in the Star Tribune account. "In the locker room, we just stressed, 'Just keep shooting the ball, it will come. In the second half, it will come.' "
Trevor Mbakwe had 10 rebounds and went 9 for 13 from the free-throw line. Hollins scored 13 points, Julian Welch had seven points, two assists and two steals, and Ralph Sampson added eight points, nine rebounds, six assists and two blocks before he fouled out, reports the Associated Press.
This is the first time in 23 years that the Gophers have avoided defeat at home to start a season, according to the Associated Press.