Sports

No. 8 Gophers fight past 12th-ranked Illini 84-67 to remain unbeaten in Big Ten

  • Illinois guard Brandon Paul (3) elevates over Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe (32) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann)  MANDATORY CREDIT

    Illinois guard Brandon Paul (3) elevates over Minnesota forward Trevor Mbakwe (32) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Illinois' Nnanna Egwu (32) shoots as Minnesota forward Rodney Williams (33) defends during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann)  MANDATORY CREDIT

    Illinois' Nnanna Egwu (32) shoots as Minnesota forward Rodney Williams (33) defends during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand (2) drives under pressure from Minnesota guard Joe Coleman (11) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann)  MANDATORY CREDIT

    Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand (2) drives under pressure from Minnesota guard Joe Coleman (11) during their NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/The News-Gazette, Darrell Hoemann) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

Joe Coleman scored 29 points and Andre Hollins added 22 to help No. 8 Minnesota top No. 12 Illinois Wednesday 84-67 and remain undefeated in the Big Ten.

The Gophers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) held off a charge by the 12th-ranked Illini midway through the second half.

Joseph Bertrand pulled Illinois within at 44-42 on a short jumper with 12:37 left.

But the physical matchup took its toll on the Illini (14-3, 1-2). And as Illinois piled up fouls, Trevor Mbakwe connected on layup with 6:15 to play for a 62-49 lead that Illinois couldn't overcome.

Mbakwe added 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Brandon Paul led Illinois with 21 points.