Hollins scores 28, leads Gophers to 79-71 win over Illinois


Andre Hollins scored 28 points, including 17 in the second half, to help the Minnesota Gopher men defeat Illinois 79-71 Saturday at Williams Arena.

Hollins has scored 80 points in his last three games, an average of 26.7 points per game, according to the Associated Press.

Hollins made five of seven 3-pointers Saturday, some at critical junctures, to give the Gophers a momentum boost when they needed it.

One of those junctures was midway through the second half, with the score tied 44-44, when Hollins made his fourth 3-pointer of the game and got fouled.

He sank the free throw and his four-point play started a 12-0 Gopher run that helped them pull away from the Illini for good, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

After Hollins' free throw, Minnesota forced a turnover. Then Charles Buggs got a huge dunk and Mo Walker scored three straight baskets to give the Gophers a 56-44 lead with 8:04 remaining, said the Pioneer Press.

Walker finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds, Carlos Morris scored 16 and Nate Mason added 10 points and six assists.

Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn each scored 18 points for Illinois (13-8, 3-5).

It was the Gophers' (13-8, 2-6) second Big Ten win of the season; they also won last week against Rutgers. Their next game is at Penn State on Wednesday.

At halftime, the Gophers retired the No. 45 jersey of former center Randy Breuer, who helped Minnesota to the 1982 Big Ten title.

Breuer, of Lake City, played in the NBA for 11 years, ranks third in scoring in school history, according to the Associated Press.

Other Gophers whose numbers are retired include Lou Hudson, Charley Mencel, Trent Tucker, Whitey Skoog, Mychal Thompson, Kevin McHale, Jim Brewer and Dick Garmaker.

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