The Bison stayed close for the first 16 minutes but Minnesota's experience and leadership kept the Gophers calm in the face of a very tough and gritty NDSU team.
Much of the leadership came from senior guard Blake Hoffarber. Hoffarber played great all game shooting 10-16 from the field and 4-8 from deep for a game-high 24 points.
Hoffarber, who is known for his lights out three point shooting, shot well in the midrange game as well. On multiple occasions, he curled off screens and hit jumpers. When the Gophers needed a big shot, Hoffarber was there to deliver.
Late in the first half Rodney Williams limped off the floor with an apparent sprained ankle. Out for the rest of the game, backup Austin Hollins stepped in to fill the void.
Hollins had eight points, four assists and two rebounds. The freshman from Memphis was fundamentally sound and played very well for the injured Williams.
Williams sat out the rest of the game and had a walking boot on his right leg for the rest of the night.
The Gophers' interior defense seemed to be a huge difference maker in the game. As a team, Minnesota had 12 blocked shots compared to the Bison who only had one.
The height of the Gophers was too much to compete with all night. NDSU shot well from behind the arc, making almost 39% of their shots from distance but struggled all game inside the paint due to the size and athleticism of the Gopher big men.
After starting the season 5-0, the game against NDSU could have easily been a trap game for the Gophers. Instead, Minnesota came out strong and handled the Bison to improve to an impressive 6-0 on the year.