Trevor Mbakwe had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota, going 16 for 18 from the free-throw line to give the Gophers enough for an ugly 67-57 victory over Fairfield on Thursday night.
Minnesota (3-0) committed 23 turnovers and was limited mostly to Mbakwe's free throws and a handful of putback dunks, but that was all the offense it needed to stop the Stags (1-2).
Rakim Sanders and Ryan Olander had 14 points each for Fairfield, which made just 2 of 16 attempts from 3-point range and turned the ball over 20 times. The Stags missed eight of their 23 free throws, squandering an opportunity to knock off a major-conference team on the road.
Mbakwe has posted a double-double in each of Minnesota's three games. This was his first 20-10 performance.