(6) Minnesota 70

(20-14, 6-12 Big Ten)

(3) La Salle 61

(21-13, 9-7 A 10)

    Coverage: ESPN2/WatchESPN

    7:00 PM ET, March 14, 2012

    Tom Gola Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    1 2 T
    #6MINN 40 3070
    #3LAS 37 2461

    Top Performers

    Minnesota: R. Williams 21 Pts, 6 Reb, 1 Stl

    La Salle: E. Pettis 19 Pts, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 3 Stl

    Minnesota 70, La Salle 61

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA -- Rodney Williams tied his career high with 21 points, Austin Hollins had 16 and Minnesota beat La Salle 70-61 Wednesday night in the opening round of the NIT.

    Andre Hollins added 13 points for the Golden Gophers (20-14), who play Miami in the second round after the Hurricanes beat Valparaiso 66-50.

    "I am impressed," Smith said of his young team. "All year long, we've been in every game. Overall, we've been right there. Now, we're starting to make some of these steps."

    The Gophers closed with a 15-6 run to give coach Tubby Smith his 100th win at the school. Only seven coaches in the program's history have won at least 100 games.

    "I really didn't realize it," Smith said of the milestone. "You're so involved in the game."

    Earl Pettis scored 19 points for La Salle (21-13), while Ramon Galloway added 13 and Jerrell Wright 12.

    It was the first postseason game for the Explorers since they qualified for the NCAA tournament in 1992. La Salle's 21 wins are the most for the program since a 30-2 finish in 1990.

    "I love my kids," coach John Giannini said. "They did a lot of good things this year. We just had some bad performances and it was the wrong time to do it."

    This was the 14th appearance for Minnesota in the NIT, including championships in 1993 and `98 -- but the `98 title has since been vacated.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 70 61
    FG Made-Attempted 28-54 (.519) 24-51 (.471)
    3P Made-Attempted 1-11 (.091) 5-10 (.500)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-18 (.722) 8-13 (.615)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 14 (0/0) 14 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 9 8


    » Mar 14, 2012 MINN 70, @LAS 61Recap