ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota star forward Trevor Mbakwe has pleaded not guilty to a charge of violating a harassment restraining order.

Mbakwe appeared in court on Thursday. He was arrested on Jan. 11 after he sent an ex-girlfriend a message on Facebook. The contact allegedly violates a restraining order the woman obtained against Mbakwe.

His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 7.

Coach Tubby Smith did not suspend the Big Ten’s leading rebounder, but he has come off the bench in each of the last two games since his arrest. He is averaging 13.2 points and 10.4 rebounds per game.

The Gophers beat No. 8 Purdue and Iowa at home to return to The Associated Press Top 25 at No. 15. Their next game is at Michigan on Saturday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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