MINNEAPOLIS (AP)—Lawrence Westbrook led Minnesota with 20 points and freshman center Colton Iverson blocked nine shots as the Gophers beat Bowling Green 68-61 on Saturday night in the NABC Classic.
The Gophers (2-0) set a team record with 17 blocked shots against the Falcons. Minnesota’s previous record was 13, reached three times since 1976.
In just his second collegiate game, Iverson put his name in Minnesota’s record books. The nine blocked shots tied the 6-foot-10 Iverson with Joel Przybilla and Randy Breuer for third-most in school history. The record is 12, set by Mychal Thompson in 1976.
After trailing by 20 points in the first half, Bowling Green (1-1) found its shooting touch and rallied to within three late in the second. With 3:22 to play, Marc Larson hit two free throws to make it 57-54.
But Westbrook answered with a steal and fast-break layup and the Falcons missed three-straight shots and committed a costly over-the-back foul on a rebound. Iverson, who finished with six points, sank two foul shots with 1:30 left and Westbrook also had four crucial free throws in the final minute.
Darryl Clements led Bowling Green with 19 points and Joe Jakubowski added 12. The sharp-shooting Jakubowski attempted only two shots in the first half as the Gophers played tough interior defense and jumped out to a big lead.
Minnesota blocked 10 shots in the first half and forced the Falcons to settle for contested jumpers. Minnesota outscored Bowling Green 16-2 en route to building a 20-point cushion in the half, holding the Falcons without a field goal for more than six minutes.
The Gophers led 36-22 at halftime.