Minnesota 70, La Salle 61
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
”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