MINNEAPOLIS -- Former University of Minnesota great Daniel Oturu had one of the best seats to watch his former college team take on Jacksonville on Wednesday night at Williams Arena.

On Thanksgiving break from the G-League’s Windy City Bulls, Oturu saw Minnesota improve to 5-0 with a 55-44 victory over Jacksonville (2-2).

But Minnesota could have used the size, much less the skills of Oturu, a St. Paul native waived by the Chicago Bulls last month. He is averaging 20 points and nearly 10 rebounds for Windy City.

Minnesota was out-rebounded 22-13, inching 8-1 on the offensive end in the first half, but still led 30-20 at the break. That formula will be much tougher to have hold up in wins over the next stretch of games.

The Gophers were a 14-point favorite Wednesday, but will face their first major test early next week on the road against Pittsburgh in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday. After the Panthers, the Gophers face Mississippi State on Dec. 5 and then the two opening games of the Big Ten schedule, Michigan State on Dec. 8 and No. 20 Michigan on Dec. 11.

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Despite their lack of size, Minnesota was ninth nationally on defensive rebounding (33 per game) in their opening four games. The Dolphins, picked to finish 10th in the 12-team Atlantic Sun, had a 46-28 advantage on the glass in the game.

Minnesota big men Eric Curry had eight boards and backup center Charlie Daniels had only one.

Gopher guard Payton Willis led Minnesota with 17 points.

The Dolphins’ leading returning scorer and preseason all-conference pick Kevin Nolan (16.6 points per game) was out with a knee injury. Tommy Brunner led them with 11 points.