Observations from Wednesday's 78-72 Win at Middle Tennessee State (NIT - Quarterfinals)

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Hollins Homecoming
Officially a road game on the Gophers' schedule, tonight's game probably seemed like a home game to Andre Hollins. The freshman and Memphis native played in Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center four years in a row during the state tournament. Hollins helped his team to a state title there his sophomore year, and poured in 24 points tonight for the Gophers, extending his double-digit scoring streak to seven games, including three 20-point games.

Sophomore Austin Hollins, a native of Germantown, scored 10 points in his return to Tennessee. All of Austin's points and 20 of Andre's points came in the second half to help lift the Gophers to victory.
Go Gophers! Austin Hollins
Go Gophers!
Hollins scored 10 points in his return to the state of Tennessee.
Go Gophers!

Williams Continues Torrid Pace
Who moves on and who goes home in the postseason depends on which team is hot at the time. In the NIT, no one has been hotter than Rodney Williams. The junior forward boasts a streak of four games with 20-plus points, including all three of Minnesota's NIT contests. After a career high of 24 tonight, his three-game total sits at 66 points on 68.4-percent shooting. With at least one game remaining, Williams could threaten Voshon Leonard's single-tournament school record of 99 points, set in 1993.

20/20 Vision
Tonight was the second time this season that Williams and Andre Hollins have teamed up to post 20-plus-point totals in the same game. The two both passed the 20-point mark against Michigan in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Freshman First
Elliott Eliason has been a fixture in the starting lineup with Ralph Sampson III injured, but he had not yet scored in double figures until tonight. Eliason had a solid overall stat line: 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks, two steals, and an assist.

Madison Square Garden, Here We Come
The Gophers will take on first-seeded Washington on Tuesday, March 27. This will be the Gophers' fourth trip to the NIT semifinals during non-vacated seasons. They are 2-1 in the three previous semifinal games, going on to win a championship in 1993. They also won the title in 1998, but it was later vacated. Minnesota last appeared in the semifinals in 2003.

Tough Guys
With about 20 seconds left in the game, three Gophers went down on the court. Austin Hollins suffered a bloody nose running into a screen, Joe Coleman took an elbow to the face on a rebounding scramble, and Rodney Williams' leg cramped up after he jumped for that same rebound. Coleman fouled out on the play, and Williams was helped off the court to avoid putting pressure on the cramp. Williams did return to the game. Hollins finished the game with tissues in his nose to stop the blood. All three players seemed to be doing fine.

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