With father in crowd, Richard Pitino and Gophers victorious


Austin Hollins eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career, and with Louisville head coach Rick Pitino watching his son coach from The Barn, the Gophers downed South Dakota State 75-59.

Hollins led Minnesota with 20 points, and reporters had to wait to talk to the U of M locker room for an extended period of time, as the elder Pitino addressed his son's club.

Unorthodox, but it sounded as if Rick thought highly of the Gophers.

A huge statement considering Rick's Louisville club is ranked No. 6 in the nation, but the Gophers win means they have still lost just twice on the year, as they dispatched of 2013 NCAA participant SDSU easily Tuesday.

The Jackrabbits tournament team of nine months ago was led by Nate Wolters, but he is now in the NBA, playing for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Without Wolters, South Dakota State struggled offensively, hitting just six of their 20 three-pointers and just 40 percent of their shots overall.

The Gophers weren't tremendously better, hoisting 26 threes and making just eight, but they outrebounded SDSU 40-30 and played excellent team basketball, assisting on 21 of their 27 field goals.

Minnesota now has a break for finals week, and they return to action against Nebraska-Omaha on Dec. 20 at Williams Arena.

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