Men's basketball: Gophers pick up first Big Ten win
MINNEAPOLIS — Austin Hollins scored 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the host Golden Gophers held off the Purdue Boilermakers for their first Big Ten win of the season 82-79 on Sunday.
Andre Hollins added 17 points and a team-leading five assists for Minnesota (12-3, 1-1), which rebounded from a loss to Michigan on Thursday to improve to 7-1 in its last eight games. DeAndre Mathieu chipped in with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line and Malik Smith contributed 10 points off the bench.
Terone Johnson finished with 18 points, including 4-of-7 3-pointers, to lead the offense for Purdue (10-5, 0-2), which shot 9-of-21 from 3-point range but just 16-of-42 otherwise. Ronnie Johnson added 12 points and a game-high seven assists and Sterling Carter collected 10 points for the Boilermakers, who have lost three of their last five games after winning eight of 10 to start the season.
Minnesota built a 42-35 lead at the half, limiting Purdue to 35.7 percent from the field. Andre and Austin Hollins combined for 25 points at intermission, with Andre sinking 9-of-11 attempts from the free-throw line in the opening 20 minutes.
After the break, the Golden Gophers hit six of their first eight shots, including three from 3-point range, to build a 57-41 lead near the midway point of the half. The Boilermakers used a late spurt, pulling to within 82-79 on a 3-pointer from Kendall Stephens in the final seconds, but it proved to be too little, too late as Stephens’ desperation heave wouldn’t go as time ran out.
Notes: Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streak against Purdue. ... The Boilermakers, who came into the game ranked last in the conference in free-throw percentage (65.3), shot 20-of-28 from the line. ... The Golden Gophers recorded eight blocks, led by C Elliott Eliason with six.