Hollins finished with six 3-pointers, four assists and three
steals for top-seeded Minnesota (23-13), which shot 50 percent from
the field. Joey King added 15 points while Maurice Walker chipped in
with 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists, three steals and three
blocks off the bench.
Neil Watson led the way for No. 3 seed Southern Mississippi (29-7)
with 16 points and six assists, while Daveon Boardingham added 15
points. Michael Craig contributed seven points, six assists and five
rebounds for the Golden Eagles.
Southern Mississippi jumped out fast, forging a 13-4 lead less than
four minutes into the game, but Minnesota responded with a 12-3 run
to pull back within one. The Golden Eagles had the lead back up to
eight with five minutes to play, but the Golden Gophers closed on a
19-7 run, including 14points by Hollins, to take a four-point
The Gophers continued their run in the second half, getting the lead
to as many as 13 midway through the period. Southern Mississippi
fought back to within five in the final minute but could never get
any closer, as Minnesota closed it out with free throws.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Southern Mississippi won the rebound battle, 37-27,
grabbing 14 offensive rebounds. … Minnesota was nearly perfect from
the free-throw line, hitting 19-of-21 attempts, while the Golden
Eagles finished 12-of-20.… The Golden Gophers head to the NIT
semifinals at Madison Square Garden for the sixth time, although the
team's run to the 1998 title was later vacated.
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