Andre Hollins had a talk with the boss. Over lunch, coach Tubby Smith reminded his streaky sophomore point guard which shots the Gophers want and how they need him to run their offense.
One day later, Hollins made clear he was listening.
Hollins hit the go-ahead 3-pointer midway through overtime to finish with 21 points and lead Minnesota to a 58-53 triumph over No. 20 Wisconsin, the 3rd straight overtime game for the Wisconsin Badgers.
”We gutted this one out,” Hollins said.
Austin Hollins added 11 points for the Gophers (18-7, 6-6 Big 10), who held the Badgers without a basket for 11 minutes until Jared Berggren’s putback with 10 seconds left in the extra period. Andre Hollins went 4 for 4 from the free-throw line over the final 18 seconds of overtime to seal it.
”He’s asked to do a lot. Handle the ball. Score for us. Defending the opposing team’s quickest player, usually,” Smith said, ”he’s really growing up and doing lots of good things. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Minnesota Golden Gophers avenged a 45-44 loss at Wisconsin last month when Rodney Williams, who had 10 points and 5 rebounds in this one, missed the back-end of a 1-and-1 with 1.8 seconds left. Over these 2 games, Andre Hollins had 41 of Minnesota’s 102 points. Basketball spreads
Sam Dekker scored 14 points and Ben Brust added 11 for the Wisconsin Badgers (17-8, 8-4).
They were 7 for 28 from 3-point range, negating their 18 offensive rebounds, and scored a sum total of 4 points during the past 10-plus minutes of the game. They didn’t score for 8:48, a run that lasted well into overtime, and Ryan Evans missed all 5 free throws he took in that stretch.
”He just makes his free throws, we’re out of here. We’re on the airplane already,” Coach Bo Ryan said of Evans, whose season percentage fell to 40.3. ”Come on. What am I going to do with the guy? You knew it was going to us one game, hopefully not 2.”
Mike Bruesewitz, the bushy-haired senior who grew up in Minnesota, had a hand in the loss, too. After missed a long 3-pointer, he drew a charge against Austin Hollins with 22.6 seconds left on the other end to get the ball back for the Badgers with a 2-point lead. But on the inbounds play, he moved his feet and was called for a violation.
”My fault, messed it up,” Bruesewitz asserted. ”I knew I shouldn’t have moved.
The Minnesota regained possession, Joe Coleman made both free throws with 17.4 seconds to tie it, and Traevon Jackson’s runner in the lane bricked off the back rim.
”It was our defensive pressure. It’s hard when you’re trying to make something happen and somebody’s in your face,” Andre Hollins declared of Bruesewitz’s blunder.
Hollins hit his big shot with 3:38 remaining to give the Minnesota a 52-49 lead. Trevor Mbakwe, who grabbed 2 big rebounds in the closing minutes, tacked on 2 free throws to stretch the lead straight to 5 with 1:32 left.
”They frustrate you a little bit, but we’re tough mentally,” Mbakwe related. ”We knew that was intended to be a grind-out game, just like it was in Madison.”