Gophers score early, often in blowout victory

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2011 - 7:18 AM

Minnesota jumped out to a 25-4 lead and liberally dished out playing time to subs.

view larger photos

  

Austin Hollins made the top 10 plays on "SportsCenter" last week after a ferocious put-back dunk against Fairfield. While that might not make the Gophers sophomore guard an expert on highlight-worthy plays, he had a pretty good view Monday of a lot of examples from teammate Rodney Williams.

"He had so many," Hollins said of Williams' five dunks, all of which came in the first half as the Gophers cruised to an 85-56 victory over Mount St. Mary's. "One of them has to get on ['SportsCenter']."

Hollins, though, was content with less glamor and more efficiency this time. He scored seven points in the first 90 seconds -- on a pair of three-pointers, one of which he converted into a rare four-point play -- and finished with career highs in points (14) and assists (six) in a confidence-boosting victory all-around for the Gophers (4-0).

Playing a shorthanded Mount St. Mary's squad (1-3), the Gophers jumped ahead 25-4 on the way to a 51-18 bulge at halftime before an announced Williams Arena crowd of 10,487.

"It was definitely comfortable. We were playing up-tempo like we want to play," Hollins said. "When our shots are falling, it makes things a lot easier."

Much of the damage was done without key seniors Ralph Sampson III and Trevor Mbakwe. Sampson didn't play after rolling his ankle Thursday. Coach Tubby Smith said he hopes to have Sampson back and "fully healed" Thursday against DePaul in the first game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando.

Mbakwe, meanwhile, had only two points at the break before finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds -- falling short of a double-double for the first time in four games this season.

But the Gophers didn't need them; 11 players scored in the first half alone, with younger players doing much of the work.

Redshirt freshman Elliott Eliason, who started in place of Sampson and drew praise from Smith for being "active and mobile," finished with four points, four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Freshman Joe Coleman had a career-high 10 points, five of them during a 13-0 run that stretched the lead in the first half. Fellow freshman Andre Hollins finished with a career-high 13 points.

Even when Austin Hollins missed from long range, good things happened. Perhaps the best of Williams' slams came on a putback of a wayward Hollins shot.

"I kind of just wait and see if anyone is going to come and box me out," said Williams, who finished with 12 points on five dunks and two free throws. "I don't really go in there looking for the tip-dunk. I look to secure the rebound. But tonight they were just bouncing my way."

The Gophers committed only three turnovers before the break and finished with a season-low nine in the game. They also won the rebounding battle 36-25.

It was a departure from their first three nonconference victories, which featured moments of legitimate tension and a considerable lack of breathing room. It also eased the minds of anyone wondering if the Gophers could, in fact, put their foot down and keep it there against a lesser opponent.

The path does not figure to be as resistance-free in upcoming games against programs with more recognizable names. The Gophers could face Texas Tech on Friday in Orlando. The following week features home games against Virginia Tech and Southern California.

"We needed a good game to have some confidence and feel good about ourselves," Smith said.

  • related content

  • Game recap: Gophers 85, Mount St. Mary's 56

    Monday November 21, 2011

    The sophomore guard set career highs in points (14) and assists (six) while setting the tempo with a pair of three-pointers in the first 90 seconds that helped the Gophers...

  • Gophers-Mount St. Mary's boxscore

    Tuesday November 22, 2011

  • Joe Coleman (right), Julian Norfleet

  • GOPHERS 85, MOUNT ST. MARY'S 56

    Up next: 1:30 p.m. Thursday vs. DePaul • Old Spice Classic, Orlando • TV: ESPN2 (1500ESPN-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - M. Latos 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Boston - J. Kelly 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
Detroit - K. Lobstein 6:05 PM
Cleveland - C. Carrasco
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Penny
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
LA Angels - C. Wilson 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi 7:10 PM
Minnesota - T. Milone
Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
Oakland - S. Gray
Washington - D. Fister 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw
Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
NY Giants 9/8/14 6:10 PM
Detroit
San Diego 9/8/14 9:20 PM
Arizona
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
(25) Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(19) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(18) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(23) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Washington
(14) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(13) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(15) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(7) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(17) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(21) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(12) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(16) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(9) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(21) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(8) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(11) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close