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Minnesota holds off SE Louisiana

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Damian Johnson ended with 13 points, four assists and four rebounds, as No. 23 Minnesota stayed perfect on the season by holding on to beat Southeastern Louisiana, 80-71, at Williams Arena.

Blake Hoffarber offered 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting for the Golden Gophers (11-0), who next play High Point on Sunday. Lawernce Westbrook also chipped in 15 points in the win.

"Before the game, we knew it was important not to have a letdown and ruin a big win," said Hoffarber. "I feel like we got things done tonight; I think we were fine."

Kevyn Green poured in 22 points for the Lions (6-5). Patrick Sullivan added 15 points and nine boards for Southeastern Louisiana, which will play at Auburn on New Year's Eve.

"I think we blocked the crowd out of our minds pretty well," said Southeastern Louisiana coach Jim Yarbrough. "The one thing that killed was every time we got the score within six or seven they'd pull away to about twelve. We thought we'd get back in it, but we couldn't quite do that."

The teams traded baskets and the lead see-sawed -- with neither school holding more than a four-point advantage -- before Travis Busch's three-pointer gave the home team a 40-36 lead at the break.

Baskets from Westbrook, Johnson and Ralph Sampson III gave the Golden Gophers a 46-36 lead a bit over two minutes into the second half.

Green's three-point play brought the visitors within 49-44 with 16 minutes showing on the clock, but Minnesota then pulled away.

Game Notes

The Golden Gophers are in the top-25 for the first time since 2002...Ten of Minnesota's 11 wins have come in the friendly confines of Williams Arena...Minnesota has won both of the all-time meetings in the series.

12/24 02:54:44 ET