Gophers are first to 10 wins after routing St. Peter

Ralph Sampson III had a big game in his return to the starting lineup.

Charlie Armitz

The Gophers men’s basketball team defeated St. Peter’s 69-47 at Williams Arena on Saturday, extending their winning streak without Trevor Mbakwe to four games.

With a 10-1 record, Minnesota is the first Division I team to 10 wins.

The Gophers are 8-0 at home, and have won all but one of their home games by double digits.

Ralph Sampson III had 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four blocks in his first start since Nov. 27. He helped Minnesota gain a comfortable lead despite an off-night from junior Rodney Williams.

Williams had 10 points on 4-for-9 shooting. All four of his rebounds came on the offensive end.

Minnesota held the Peacocks to 3-for-11 shooting from long range, one game after allowing Appalachian State to hit nine of 21 triples.

Sampson had been in and out of the rotation with an ankle injury, which he said was “about 97 percent” after Saturday’s win.

“Getting Ralph back in the lineup today was a big help,” head coach Tubby Smith said. “He seems to be moving better. I think his stamina and his wind needs to continue to get better.”

Freshman point guard Andre Hollins, who tweaked his ankle in a Dec. 3 game against Southern California, sat out Saturday’s game. Maverick Ahanmisi started in his place and scored three points in 28 minutes.

Julian Welch added 11 points for the Gophers, but his streak of consecutive free throws made ended at 25.