Minnesota vs UCLA

Gophers bounce back, bury UCLA in tourney opener

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AUSTIN, Texas -- Minnesota coach Tubby Smith got the win he needed to calm down his critics at home. UCLA's Ben Howland took a loss that will only ignite a new round of howling for his job out West.

Andre Hollins scored 28 points and Minnesota rolled past punchless UCLA 83-63 on Friday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament, giving Smith his first tournament win in six seasons with the Gophers.

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Austin Hollins scored 16 for the 11th-seeded Gophers (21-12), who earned their first win since March 2 and advanced to Sunday's third round against No. 3 seed Florida in the South Regional.

"My teammates believe in me, they know I can hit the shots," Andre Hollins said. "Tonight I hit the shots."

The 20-point loss will be tough for Howland to bring back to Los Angeles. Despite winning the Pac-12 regular-season title, the Bruins (25-10) came to Austin hearing intense rumblings of dissatisfaction with a program that hasn't made it past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament since 2009. UCLA missed the tournament altogether last season.

Howland, who led the Bruins to three consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08, wouldn't talk about his future after the game.

"I'm really proud of this group of kids, and I'm really indebted to them for the great season they provided," he said.

Even the conference title was dampened, however, when Jordan Adams, whom Howland described as his team's best all-around player, was lost to a broken ankle in the Pac-12 tournament.

The injury seemed to infect the entire UCLA offense and the Bruins never looked to have the fight to beat the Gophers, who delivered on their reputation as tough team molded by season-long battles in the Big Ten.

"We were obviously short-handed," Howland said. "You could see that our guys wore down physically."

Smith had faced his own pressures from Minnesota fans. The Gophers started the season 15-1, then lost 11 of their final 16 to limp into the NCAA tournament.

They found their early-season form in time to thump the Bruins. Minnesota shot 50 percent, with Andre and Austin Hollins knocking down a combined nine 3-pointers. The Gophers had seized control by halftime and never let go.

"We haven't played well in a while," Smith said. "It was good to see our guys having fun, playing the right way, sharing the basketball, taking care of the basketball."

The Bruins clearly missed Adams.

UCLA looked disjointed on offense and freshman Shabazz Muhammad, expected to leave for the NBA, missed all seven of his shots in the first half. Muhammad finished with 20 points, but his teammates often looked for other options and most of his scoring came in a desperate rally that never really got close.

"I thought we were prepared," Muhammad said. "They came out and jumped on us early and they really played well."

UCLA also got into foul trouble when forwards Travis Wear and Tony Parker both picked up three in the first half. That robbed the Bruins of some much-needed muscle under the basket against the physical Gophers.

Austin Hollins scored 11 in the first half and his third 3-pointer pushed the Gophers to a 33-19 lead. UCLA pulled to 35-25 by halftime.

Muhammad got more involved in the second with seven quick points and UCLA pulled within five when Norman Powell made a 3-pointer. The Gophers responded with consecutive 3-pointers from Andre Hollins from opposite corners to push the lead back to 11.

Every time UCLA made a move, the Gophers found a way to push the Bruins back and were never in danger of losing the lead. UCLA's last threat came when Muhammad scored four consecutive points, including a fast-break dunk that cut the lead to eight with about nine minutes to play.

The Gophers responded with a 16-5 run -- punctuated by Andre Hollins' last 3-pointer -- to make it 73-54.

"A lot of people were doubting us," Gophers forward Rodney Williams said. "We know how good we are."

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
Scoreboard
Minnesota #11 «354883
UCLA #6 253863
MINN:A. Hollins 28 Pts
MINN:T. Mbakwe 12 Reb
MINN:A. Hollins 7 Ast
UCLA:S. Muhammad 20 Pts
UCLA:K. Anderson 11 Reb
UCLA:K. Anderson 4 Ast

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PLAYERS OF THE GAME
MinnesotaUCLA
MINN
Andre Hollins
UCLA
Shabazz Muhammad
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
28952041
Minnesota Golden Gophers
A. Hollins, G364-74-407116
A. Hollins, G358-167-795228
T. Mbakwe, F314-71-412129
J. Coleman, G197-110-110414
R. Williams Jr., F172-70-23334
E. Eliason, C193-30-15136
O. Osenieks, F191-40-01122
M. Walker, F82-40-03004
J. Welch, G60-10-00000
M. Ahanmisi, G50-10-00100
A. Ingram, F50-00-01020
C. Halvorsen, FDid Not Play
K. Shell, GDid Not Play
C. Buggs, FDid Not Play
W. Ellenson, GDid Not Play
Totals 31-6112-1935191983
 50.8%63.2% 
UCLA Bruins
L. Drew II, G391-62-21324
S. Muhammad, G-F396-188-1041020
N. Powell, G373-121-241310
K. Anderson, G302-112-211426
T. Wear, F201-52-25044
D. Wear, F284-81-261310
T. Parker, F-C73-33-54059
D. Brown, GDid Not Play
N. Kazemi, GDid Not Play
K. McCaskill, GDid Not Play
J. Adams, GDid Not Play
S. Derboghosian, CDid Not Play
A. Gasol, CDid Not Play
J. Thomas, FDid Not Play
A. Williams, GDid Not Play
Totals 20-6319-2535101963
 31.7%76.0% 
Big Ten
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Illinois0-05-068
Maryland0-05-095
Minnesota0-05-0103
Rutgers0-05-0154
Michigan0-05-1144
Penn St.0-05-188
Ohio St.0-04-151
Michigan St.0-03-1200
Iowa0-04-2277
Purdue0-04-225
Indiana0-03-2210
Nebraska0-03-237
Northwestern0-03-2140
Wisconsin0-02-3170

Pac 12
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Arizona St.0-05-090
Colorado0-05-043
USC0-04-027
Wash. State0-04-0188
Oregon0-04-1183
UCLA0-04-146
Utah0-04-114
Arizona0-03-2160
Stanford0-03-3141
Oregon St.0-02-294
Washington0-02-291
California0-02-4274
 
Other games
ALB 61 Final
DUKE 73
MISS 57 Final
WISC 46
TEMP 76 Final
NCST 72
UOP 49 Final
MIAMI 78
CINCY 63 Final
CREI 67
LAS 63 Final
KSU 61
JMAD 62 Final
IND 83
COLO 49 Final
ILL 57
FGCU 78 Final
GTOWN 68
IONA 70 Final
OHST 95
NOVA 71 Final
UNC 78
NWST 47 Final
FLA 79
OKLA 55 Final
SDSU 70
IAST 76 Final
ND 58
WKY 57 Final
KAN 64