Bound for the Big Apple; Gophers head to NIT semifinals


The Gopher men's basketball team will make their second trip to the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in the last three years. The Gophers beat Southern Mississippi 81-73 in the NIT quarterfinals at Williams Arena, Tuesday night.

After a quick start from Southern Miss, which put the Eagles up early 13-9, the Gophers rallied back thanks to Austin Hollins.

Hollins had a huge first half for Minnesota. His play single-handedly helped the Gophers rally back from an early deficit.

Hollins, playing in his final home game at Williams Arena, knocked down five three-pointers in the first half and scored 18 points. He finished with career-high 32 points to lead the Gophers. He was also a perfect 10 of 10 from the free-throw line.

Joey King also was solid for the Gophers. He finished with 15, while Maurice Walker nearly had a double-double. He scored 12 points and grabbed nine boards.

As a team, the Gophers were selfless on Tuesday night. The team set a season-high with 23 assists. They also did a tremendous job from the free-throw line making 19 of 21 from the stripe in the game.

The Gophers (23-13) will play either Florida State or Louisiana Tech who meet in an NIT quarterfinal game Wednesday.

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