Gopher men's hoops shrug off slow start to beat North Florida
MINNEAPOLIS - Rodney Williams Jr. had 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, leading the 21st-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers to an 87-59 victory over the North Florida Ospreys.
Austin Hollins added 12 points and six boards for the Golden Gophers (8-1), who have won four in a row. Joe Coleman and Trevor Mbakwe tallied 11 points apiece.
Parker Smith ended with 22 points for the Ospreys (3-5), who had a brief two- game winning streak snapped. Travis Wallace donated 17 points and six rebounds.
Trailing 18-10 with less than 12 minutes left in the first half, Minnesota went on a 20-3 run to take the lead. Maurice Walker's free throw made it a 30-21 contest with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
North Florida responded with the next six points to make it a three-point game.
Mbakwe stopped the small run with five straight points. Oto Osenieks added a jumper to give the Golden Gophers a 37-27 margin at the break.
Holding a 44-33 edge early in the second half, Minnesota went on a 9-0 run to essentially put the game away. Coleman's three-point play made it 53-33 with over 14 minutes to play.