MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota was eager to prove it belonged in the headlines for beating top teams, not simply for trouble off the court.
Blake Hoffarber's 26 points and sharpened perimeter defense helped the Golden Gophers outlast eighth-ranked Purdue 70-67 on Thursday night.
"It felt like the rim was just a little bigger than normal," Hoffarber said.
The game itself was a little bigger than normal, too, given the team's tumultuous week. Hoffarber went 10-of-15 from the field and Al Nolen added 13 points, eight assists and three steals for the Gophers, who watched leading scorer and rebounder Trevor Mbakwe get dropped from the starting lineup due to a misdemeanor charge of violating a harassment restraining order.
"I couldn't be prouder of our kids and their ability to stay focused and overcome some of the distractions we've had of late," coach Tubby Smith said. "It all happens within their heart and within their minds."
JaJuan Johnson had 29 points and 11 rebounds for the Boilermakers (15-2, 4-1 Big Ten), whose 10-game winning streak ended.
STANFORD 58, NO. 17 WASH. 56: Josh Owens hit a jumper with 29 seconds left for the host Cardinal, which snapped a six-game winning streak by the Huskies (12-4, 4-1 Pac-10).
NO. 7 TEXAS A&M: Coach Gary Blair received a three-year extension to remain with the Aggies through the 2014-15 season.
MEMPHIS: Junior forward Wesley Witherspoon was suspended indefinitely.
NO. 9 MICH. ST. 63, NO. 16 IOWA 60: Kalisha Keane's 3-pointer from the corner with .5 seconds left lifted the host Spartans (16-1, 4-0 Big Ten). The Hawkeyes (14-4, 2-3) had tied it at 60 with an 8-0 run.
NO. 10 UCLA 58, OREGON ST. 46: Darxia Morris had 16 points and the host Bruins (14-1, 4-0 Pac-10) opened the second half with an 11-0 run to win their fourth in a row.
BC 78, NO. 13 MARYLAND 69: Stefanie Murphy had 17 points and the visiting Eagles beat the Terrapins (13-3, 0-2 ACC) for the second straight time.
NO. 19 KENTUCKY 66, S.C. 48: Victoria Dunlap had 20 points and eight rebounds, and the host Wildcats (12-4, 1-2 SEC) didn't allow a field goal over the final eight minutes.
GEORGIA 59, NO. 20 ARK. 56: Khaalidah Miller hit a 3-pointer with 13.8 seconds left as the Bulldogs upset the host Razorbacks (14-2, 2-2 SEC), their second straight win over a ranked team.
N'WESTERN 64, NO. 24 OHIO ST. 53: Amy Jaeschke had 15 points and the host Wildcats held off a late surge by the Buckeyes (10-6, 1-3 Big Ten) to snap a 19-game losing streak in the series.