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Gophers trample Bison

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North Dakota State had a solid first half Tuesday night at Williams Arena - except for the final 75 seconds.

No. 13-ranked Minnesota scored eight straight points during that stretch to push its leads to 11 points. That quick scoring burst helped spark the Gophers to a 70-57 victory in Division I nonconference men's basketball before 10,472 fans.

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"It was a very dramatic swing," NDSU head coach Saul Phillips said. "In 75 seconds we managed to shrink our margin for error a great deal."

Minnesota (11-1) extended its winning streak to seven games. NDSU (8-3) had its three-game winning streak snapped.

"Whenever we play North Dakota State, we know it's going to be a tough, hard game," Gophers head coach Tubby Smith said.

NDSU sophomore point guard Lawrence Alexander sank two free throws to cut the Minnesota lead to 29-26 with 2 minutes, 33 seconds to play in the first half.

About a minute later, Gophers sophomore Andre Hollins fueled a game-changing run. Hollins drained a 3-pointer from the left wing that pushed the lead to 32-26 with 1:15 to play in the half. The 6-foot-1 guard added a 3-pointer from the right wing two seconds before halftime that gave his team a 37-26 lead.

"I think it was definitely good for them," said Bison junior Taylor Braun, who scored 15 points. "It gave them some momentum going into the half. We missed some shots and they made some shots."

The Bison didn't get closer than eight points after that surge. Smith felt that final stretch in the first half was important.

"That was huge because we were behind earlier in the game," Smith said. "But that is what Andre Hollins is capable of doing."

The Gophers built a 51-32 lead with 12:55 to play in the second half after Andre Ingram made two foul shots. Lawrence had a strong second half to make sure the margin didn't get worse for NDSU.

The 6-3 point guard scored 12 of his team-high 19 points in the final 18 minutes. Alexander made 4 of 6 shots from the field in the second half with most of his success coming off drives into the paint.

"I was very impressed with Lawrence," Smith said. "He had some pretty good moves and was effective against us."

Bison junior Marshall Bjorklund liked the way the Bison responded after Minnesota built that 19-point lead. Bjorklund scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, but played only 24 minutes due to foul trouble.

"We never quit," Bjorklund said. "I think a couple of years ago we may have folded and lost by 30."

The Bison next play at Towson on Saturday.

"This game does not affect our confidence," Braun said. "It's frustrating, but I think we played very hard. I'm proud of my teammates. We came up here and played well."

N. DAKOTA ST. (8-3): Wright 1-4 0-0 3, Bjorklund 5-8 2-2 12, Alexander 6-10 5-7 19, Brown 1-4 0-0 3, Braun 6-12 0-0 15, Newell 0-0 0-0 0, Felt 0-7 0-0 0, Zastrow 0-0 0-0 0, VandenBergh 0-1 0-0 0, Kading 2-4 1-3 5, Aaberg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-50 8-12 57.

MINNESOTA (11-1): Williams Jr. 8-14 2-2 19, Eliason 0-0 0-0 0, An. Hollins 3-7 2-4 11, Coleman 1-6 2-2 4, Au. Hollins 2-10 0-0 5, Welch 3-4 0-0 7, Ellenson 0-1 1-2 1, Osenieks 0-5 2-2 2, Ahanmisi 1-2 0-0 3, Walker 0-3 2-2 2, Halvorsen 0-0 0-0 0, Ingram 0-2 2-2 2, Mbakwe 5-6 4-6 14, Shell 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-60 17-22 70.

Halftime: Minnesota 37-26. 3-Point Goals: N. Dakota St. 7-20 (Braun 3-4, Alexander 2-3, Brown 1-1, Wright 1-3, VandenBergh 0-1, Kading 0-2, Felt 0-6), Minnesota 7-18 (An. Hollins 3-6, Welch 1-1, Williams Jr. 1-1, Ahanmisi 1-2, Au. Hollins 1-5, Coleman 0-1, Ellenson 0-1, Osenieks 0-1). Fouled Out: Braun. Rebounds: N. Dakota St. 26 (Bjorklund 6), Minnesota 43 (Mbakwe 18). Assists: N. Dakota St. 12 (Alexander 6), Minnesota 14 (An. Hollins 6). Total Fouls: N. Dakota St. 19, Minnesota 15. A: 10,472.

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