Hollins leads late run in victory on road

Minnesota closed the game with a 19-0 run and won 74-59 on Saturday.

Minnesota guard Andre Hollins defends against Montana on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at Williams Arena.

Ichigo Takikawa, Daily File Photo

Minnesota guard Andre Hollins defends against Montana on Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at Williams Arena.

Jace Frederick

The Gophers couldn’t find an answer for Richmond’s offense Saturday night.

The Spiders ran a Princeton-style attack featuring cuts and drives to the bucket that earned them easy baskets and put Gophers junior guards DeAndre Mathieu and Andre Hollins in foul trouble.

So trailing by four with 7:25 to play, Gophers head coach Richard Pitino changed his team’s defense.

“I went zone because they were carving our man [defense] up really good and we couldn’t get stops,” he said. “It’s Princeton on steroids.”

The zone provided the answer the Gophers were looking for all evening.

Minnesota outscored Richmond 19-0 down the stretch to defeat the Spiders 74-59 in Richmond, Va.

“I told them, ‘Listen, if you want to win on the road, you’ve got to get stops. You’ve got to rebound,’” Pitino said. “And they did that, so I’m real proud of them.”

The Gophers’ offense rode the back of Andre Hollins most of the night — particularly down the stretch.

Hollins scored eight of the Gophers’ final 19 points to finish with 26 points on 7-for-17 shooting. He added seven rebounds in a team-high 37 minutes.

Malik Smith (11 points), Austin Hollins (11) and Joey King (10) also cracked double figures.

Austin Hollins led the team in rebounding for the second-straight game. He pulled down 11 boards to achieve his second double-double in as many games.

The Gophers manhandled Richmond on the boards and held a 54-37 advantage on the glass.

Early in the game, it didn’t look like the Gophers would have much of a problem in their first road contest of the season.

Andre Hollins’ three-pointer 2:35 into the game gave Minnesota a 12-0 lead. The Gophers built a 27-13 advantage on a Mathieu layup with 8:51 to play in the first half.

But Richmond responded with a 24-13 run, and the Gophers led 40-37 at the break.

Pitino said it was important to earn a victory in a road environment against an Atlantic 10 opponent — especially with Big Ten road tests looming less than two months away.

“To just be able to reference back to the toughness that they showed down the stretch [is important],” Pitino said.