Gophers get defensive in win over Wildcats - KMSP-TV

Gophers get defensive in win over Wildcats

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The scoreboard at halftime of the game between the No. 9 ranked Gophers and the Northwestern Wildcats read Minnesota 17 Northwestern 14. The game was not being played at TCF Stadium but across the street at Williams Arena. Despite a slow first 20 minutes by both teams, head coach Tubby Smith was indifferent to how his team played early. They rallied in the second half behind hot shooting for a 69-51 win at Williams Arena.

"The most insignificant score is the halftime score," said Smith. "Halftime is just a matter of taking shots when we're there, and I thought Andre (Hollins) turned down some shots in the first half that he should have shot and that's what happens when a game is tight.

The Gophers played lights out on the defensive end of the floor, then finally kicked the offense into high gear into the second half on the hot shooting of Austin Hollins who buried five straight three-pointers in the second half.

"I was definitely starting to feel it, and it was falling," said Hollins. "So if I was open, I was definitely going to let it fly."

The Gophers have won 10 in a row and sit at 14-1 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. The winning streak marks the longest since starting the 2008-2009 season 12-0. Rodney Williams added nine points and five rebounds in the second home victory to open conference play.

The Gophers hit the road for a tough back to back against No. 11 Illinois on Wednesday and No. 5 Indiana on Saturday before returning home.

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