The Gophers mens basketball team continues to go through a growth process under first year head coach Richard Pitino. After playing the now number 4 ranked Syracuse Orange tough in the Maui Classic, the team played flat in two halves against Arkansas and Chaminade. They returned to Williams Arena on Tuesday night to face another tough ACC team in Florida State.
With the Big 10 schedule less than a month away, Pitino's team looked the part as they jumped out to a 15 point lead and held on to beat the Seminoles 71-61.
"Of all our games we have played, that was the toughest we played," Richard Pitino said. "That to me is an NCAA tournament team, so to take care of business when you're coming back from Maui with a lot of tough obstacles was big for our program."
Andre Hollins scored 21 points and Austin Hollins added 16 to lead the way for Minnesota. The key difference between their victory and their losses to Syracuse and Arkansas was on the glass. The Gophers pulled down 13 offensive rebounds and won despite shooting only 34 percent from the floor.
"We just needed to be aggressive," Austin Hollins noted. "If they are not being physical or not boxing out, we need to be able to sneak in there and get the rebound. We are a tough team that needs to play smart."
It was a game that lacked any flow as the officials called 52 fouls resulting in 62 free-throws.
Minnesota now 7-2 remain home where they will face New Orleans on Saturday afternoon at Williams Arena.