Minnesota 28 50 78
Midtennst 32 40 72
Date of game: 3/21/2012

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

Illinois State rallies into FCS title game

If ever there was doubt about the Missouri Valley Football Conference being the top conference in the FCS, Illinois State provided a reminder on Saturday.

Lions clinch playoff spot

Landover, MD (Sports Network) - The Detroit Lions clinched a playoff spot on Saturday due to the Philadelphia Eagles' loss to the Washington Redskins.

Giants acquire McGehee from Marlins

The San Francisco Giants have acquired infielder Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo.

Anthony to play in Knicks-Suns tilt

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony will play in Saturday's game against the Phoenix Suns after sitting out the team's previous outing due to soreness in his left knee.

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