MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Lawrence Westbrook led a typically balanced Minnesota offense with 15 points, and the 21st-ranked Gophers salvaged a split in the opening week of Big Ten play by beating 24th-ranked Ohio State 68-59 yesterday.
The Gophers (13-1, 1-1) bounced back from their loss to No. 10 Michigan State three days earlier by rebounding better. Damian Johnson scored 12 points, and Minnesota held a 42-30 advantage on the boards over the Buckeyes (10-2, 1-1).
Missing junior guard David Lighty, Ohio State got 21 points from Evan Turner and 15 from Jon Diebler. But the Gophers held off a late charge and were in command most of the game.
The Gophers responded to coach Tubby Smith's exhortations after the 70-58 loss to the 10th-ranked Spartans on Wednesday, ringing in their new year with more intensity and more rebounds.