Gophers Route Tennessee State, 72-43

Gophers Route Tennessee State, 72-43

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rodney Williams had 15 points and seven rebounds as Minnesota defeated Tennessee State 72-43 Thursday night.

Andre Hollins added 13 points and Austin Hollins had 12 for the Gophers (3-0), whose 3-point shooting helped them build an 18-point halftime advantage that never dipped below 17 in the second half.

Kellen Thornton had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the Tigers (0-3), while Jordan Cyphers and Robert Covington added 10 points each. Tennessee State shot a season-low 23.7 percent from the floor thanks in part to a Minnesota defense that prevented quality looks.

The Gophers have limited their three opponents this season to a combined 26.6 percent shooting.

Minnesota held the Tigers without a point for more than six minutes in the second half, scoring 10 straight over that span to race ahead 53-26 and put the game out of reach.

Williams, who is shooting 79.2 percent from the floor this season and averaging 14.3 points per game, left briefly in the second half after getting hit above his right eye. The senior, who was called for a foul on the play, needed three stitches before returning to the court.

Andre Hollins more than doubled his season scoring output in the first half alone, pouring in 13 points on 3 for 5 shooting with a pair of 3s. Hollins hit just 2 of 15 shots and combined for 10 points in Minnesota's first two games. The Gophers as a team shot just 9 for 36 from the 3-point line in their first two games, but hit 6 of 12 from beyond the arc in the first half Thursday and finished 6 for 16 for the game.

Minnesota used a pair of 9-0 runs in the game's first seven minutes to take an 18-6 lead, then added a 10-0 run just before the end of the first half with 3-pointers from Andre Hollins, Austin Hollins and Julian Welch.

Minnesota senior Trevor Mbakwe, still making his way back from a torn ACL in his right knee, came off the bench the earliest he has this season but scored just five points and finished with four fouls, including a technical, in a season-low 10 minutes. Mbakwe played 14 minutes in each of the Gophers' first two games.

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