Gophers Drop 73-69 Heartbreaker to Michigan in Overtime

Go Gophers! Rodney Williams scored 20 points in the OT loss to Michigan.
Go Gophers!
Rodney Williams scored 20 points in the OT loss to Michigan.
Go Gophers!

March 9, 2012

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Minnesota went to overtime at the B1G Tournament for the second straight day, but the Golden Gophers came up just short in a hard-fought 73-69 setback to second-seeded Michigan.

Freshman guard Andre Hollins led the Gophers in scoring for the second straight game, finishing with 21 points, while junior forward Rodney Williams had 20 points and six rebounds.

But Michigan's Trey Burke scored a career-high 30 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 points to help the Wolverines advance.

With the win, Michigan improved to 24-8 and advances to play the winner of tonight's quarterfinal matchup between Ohio State and Purdue. Minnesota falls to 19-14, and the Gophers will now wait to see if they receive an invitation to play in a postseason tournament.

Minnesota jumped out to a 5-0 lead, as Andre Hollins picked up right where he left off in the Gophers' first-round win versus Northwestern. Hollins scored a career-high 25 points and made five treys versus the Wildcats, and he opened the scoring with a three versus Michigan.

Andre Hollins also showed his ability to make plays for others, as he twice found Williams on nice passes up the court, the first for an early layup and the second for an alley-oop dunk to give the Gophers an 11-3 lead.

The Gophers dominated the glass in the early stages, keeping several possessions alive by grabbing boards at the offensive end of the floor.

But after building its lead and holding the Wolverines to just one point over the first six and a half minutes, Michigan's Trey Burke came to life. The Co-B1G Freshman of the Year, Burke scored 11 straight points to pull Michigan within three points at 15-12.

Austin Hollins made a trey to put the Gophers up, 20-14, but the Wolverines responded with a 6-0 run to tie the score for the first time with just under two minutes remaining. But Austin Hollins drained another long three-pointer with 1:22 remaining and Minnesota took a 23-20 lead into the break.

All of Minnesota's first-half points came from three players, as Williams and Austin Hollins each had eight, while Andre Hollins netted seven. Williams and Elliott Eliason each pulled down four boards to pace the Gophers at the half.

Burke, who scored 27 points in Michigan's 61-56 win versus the Gophers on New Year's Day in Ann Arbor, led all scoters with 13 points at the half.

Tim Hardaway Jr., who was held to just two points in the first half, scored five quick points during a 7-2 run to open the second half and give the Wolverines their first lead, 27-25.

Four turnovers by the Gophers early in the second half helped Michigan gain momentum and establish a 35-31 lead.

But Chip Armelin made a three and Andre Hollins made three free throws after he was fouled by Burke on a three-point attempt, allowing Minnesota to tie the score at 37-37.

After Hardaway completed a three-point play for a 40-37 Michigan lead, the Gophers answered with a 17-5 run to pull back in front.

Eliason started things by flashing down the lane and taking a pass from Williams for a two-handed flush, and Andre Hollins gave the Gophers a 41-40 edge with a nifty scoop layup.

Then the Gophers started raining threes, with Austin Hollins hitting the first to put the Gophers up 44-41. Then, after Michigan pulled within one point, Julian Welch connected on back-to-back clutch treys and Williams added a dunk to put the Gophers up 54-45.

Michigan fought back, with Burke snapping an 8-0 run by Minnesota with a layup, followed by a three from Zack Novak to pull within 54-50.

Needing a score, with the shot clock about to expire, Joe Coleman drove the baseline for a key reverse layup to put Minnesota back up by six.

But Novak struck again, making a trey from right in front of the Michigan bench to cut it to 56-53 with 1:14 left, and Evan Smotrycz tied the game with a trey with 19 seconds left.

The Gophers had a couple chances to win the game in regulation, but Andre Hollins' runner with about four seconds left was off the mark. Then, after Smotrycz stepped out of bounds with 1.1 seconds on the clock, Minnesota ran an inbounds play for Williams, but his shot after catching the lofted pass rolled off the rim.

In the overtime, Stu Douglass and Burke each made three-pointers to give the Wolverines a 62-57 lead, and Douglass benefitted from a soft roll on a jumper in the lane to make it 64-57.

But Williams knocked down a trey to pull Minnesota within four points, and after Burke made a pair of free throws, Andre Hollins drained a long-distance bomb to cut it to 66-63.

The Gophers fouled Jordan Morgan, who was 2-of-5 at the line in regulation, and he made just one of two attempts, and Andre Hollins hit a pair of foul shots at the other end to cut it to 67-65.

Burke, though, was too much in the end, as he tipped in a missed shot to put the Wolverines up 69-65 and he scored nine points in the overtime.