Recap: Middle Tennessee vs. Minnesota
Murfreesboro, TN (Sports Network) - Rodney Williams and Andre Hollins each scored 24 points as the Minnesota Golden Gophers held off the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 78-72 in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament at Murphy Athletic Center.
Elliot Eliason added 12 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota (22-14), while Austin Hollins pitched in with 10 points.
For Middle Tennessee (27-7), Marcos Knight led the way with 19 points and nine rebounds. Raymond Cintron scored 15 points for the Blue Raiders while LaRon Dendy chipped in 11 points.
The first half was mostly a back-and-forth affair, but Middle Tennessee was able to take a 32-28 lead into the break by shooting a lofty 53.8 percent from the field in the opening frame.
The Blue Raiders struggled in the second half, draining just 39.3 percent of their field goals, while the Golden Gophers took control by making 50 percent of their shots in the stanza. Up 67-58 with 1:04 left, Minnesota seemed to have the game well in-hand, but Middle Tennessee ripped off an incredible 14 points in less than a minute to bring its deficit to within two, 74-72, with seven seconds to play. However, Andre Hollins finally put the game out of reach by making four free-throws in the waning seconds, as the Golden Gophers escaped with the victory.
The Blue Raiders were plagued by 17 turnovers, which turned into 17 Golden Gopher points.
Minnesota advances to play Washington in the NIT semifinals on March 27.Game Notes