RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Behind 26 points from junior guard Andre Hollins, Minnesota defeated Richmond 74-59 on the road in the refurbished Robins Center Saturday night.
The Golden Gophers (3-0) avoided being upset in their only nonconference road game of the season. Austin Hollins and Malik Smith scored 11 points apiece on a night where neither team shot very well. Both teams shot under 40% from the field and 70% from the line.
“Very proud of our team to be able to, over the last 7:24 I believe it was, we held them without a field goal and that’s why we won the game,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “We told them, ‘Listen, if you want to win on the road you got to get stops and you got to rebound.’ And they did that.”
Senior Cedrick Lindsay paced the Spiders (2-1) with 15 points on 5 of 16 from the field. Deion Taylor scored 11 points and Terry Allen ripped down 12 rebounds for the home team.
With the game tied at 59 with just less than six minutes left, Andre Hollins put Minnesota in the lead with a floater in the lane and the visitors never looked back. Andre Hollins, a third-team All-Big Ten selection a year ago, was the conference scoring leader going into the game and is now averaging 22.7 points per game.
“He (Andre Hollins) is a great player,” Lindsay said. “It was a great opportunity for us.”
A Smith corner 3-pointer with less than four minutes to play deflated the home crowd and continued what turned into a 19-2 run to close the game for the Golden Gophers. Although they struggled from the line (17 of 28), Minnesota knocked them down when they counted.
The Spiders couldn’t get anything going from behind the arch for a third straight game, hitting 3 of 25 and is now shooting 13.8 percent (9 of 65).
“We have to make more shots,” Richmond coach Chris Mooney said. “This is the third straight game where we haven’t shot the ball well and it’s important that we do make enough to keep teams honest and give ourselves a better chance to win.”
In the first half the Golden Gophers stormed to a 12-0 lead that led to a Spider timeout less than two minutes into the contest. With the Minnesota lead reaching as many as 14 points, the Spiders spent the entire half crawling back into the game.
A back door cut from sophomore Deion Taylor was rewarded with a slicing bounce pass from Lindsay for the layup and the foul. The free throw put the Spiders ahead 37-36 with 2:20 remaining. But four unanswered points from Andre Hollins in the closing minutes of the half gave the Golden Gophers a 40-37 lead going into the break.
Andre Hollins led all scorers in the half with 13 points on 6-7 shooting from the free throw line. Malik Smith added eight points hitting two deep three pointers in the half. The Golden Gophers shot just 50 percent from the free throw line (8 of 16) and 38.9 percent from the field (14 of 36) in the opening half.
Lindsay had a team-high 11 points on 4 of 10 shooting, seemingly getting into the lane and finishing at will. Taylor chipped in eight points and helped the Spiders control the paint, outscoring the Golden Gophers 20-14 inside for the half.
The Spiders let a late second half lead slip away on night where the Robins Center was electric and Chris Mooney was going for his 150th as head coach of Richmond.
Pitino, the son of Louisville’s Rick Pitino, remains undefeated in his first season.
“They’ve never had a Big Ten opponent in their building,” Pitino said. “That’s not a coincidence, nobody wants to come and play here because it’s a great program and a tough place to play.”
The Golden Gophers will host Coastal Carolina 7 p.m. Nov. 19 in Minneapolis, Minn. The Spiders will return home on the same night to face Hofstra before going on its first road trip of the season.
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