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Hollins scores 31 to lead Gophers past Rutgers 89-80

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Andre Hollins broke out of his slump in a big way, scoring 31 points to lead the Gopher men's basketball team past Rutgers, 89-80, Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena.

In the process, the senior guard led Minnesota (12-7, 1-5) to its first Big Ten win of the season, after the team lost its first five conference games.

Hollins had shot only 21 percent from the field in those five Big Ten games, according to the Associated Press. But he was 11-for-18 from the field and hit seven three-pointers against the Scarlet Knights (10-9, 2-4) en route to the second 30-point game of his career.

Mo Walker had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Gophers and Carlos Morris scored 12.

Minnesota took advantage of multiple Rutgers miscues, scoring 26 points off 19 turnovers, the Associated Press notes. The Gophers turned over the ball just eight times.

Rutgers, who upset Wisconsin earlier in the week, was led by Myles Mack who had 26 points and eight assists.

Minnesota led by double digits early, 25-12, but Rutgers battled back to cut the lead to just five, 42-37, at halftime, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The Gophers pulled away in the second half and led by double digits in part because of Hollins, who scored 10 of his team's 14 points during one stretch.

Hollins electrified the crowd by hitting back-to-back three-pointers to make it 66-55 with 10:11 remaining, said the Pioneer Press.

The Gophers lost their first five conference games in part because they couldn't finish off close games. Four of the five losses were by five points or fewer.

According to the Pioneer Press, head coach Richard Pitino challenged his team to show more toughness, especially down the stretch.

This was the first time Minnesota and Rutgers faced each other in basketball since 1979.

The Gophers travel to Nebraska Tuesday to face the Cornhuskers.

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