MINNEAPOLIS – Andre Hollins scored 18 points to lead Minnesota (11-2) to a 65-44 victory over the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men's basketball team on Saturday night in Williams Arena. The Golden Gophers used a 15-1 run coming out of the half to pull away in the win.
Jeff Beverly led the way with 10 points for the Islanders (3-10), while Rashawn Thomas added eight. John Jordan grabbed nine rebounds and dished out three assists, but posted just five points in a losing effort. Dale Francis added a season-high seven.
Austin Hollins added 13 in the win for Minnesota. A&M-Corpus Christi went 1-for-15 from beyond the arc, while the Gophers were 9-for-26.
The Islanders came out solidly on the offensive end, converting in each of their first two possessions to take a 4-2 lead. But the visiting squad went ice cold from the field at that point, and the Gophers took advantage. Andre Hollins did the bulk of the damage, spearheading a 12-0 run that put the home squad up 14-4.
The Islanders got off the schneid with a nice bucket inside from Beverly, but a Malik Smith three-pointer and a pair of free throws by Maurice Walker made it 20-6. The Islanders were 1-of-10 from the floor in the run.
A&M-Corpus Christi was able to chip away at the deficit, getting it back to single digits on multiple occasions, but the Gophers got a three from Austin Hollins and a runner from DeAndre Mathieu to push the lead to 15. The Islanders closed the half with four straight points, though, the final two coming on a steal and layup for Thomas that made it 32-21 at the break.
But in the second half, the Islanders' offensive woes magnified, as the visitors missed their first five shots of the stanza and the Golden Gophers ratcheted up the pressure to force seven turnovers as well. Minnesota turned the stops into points, as well, using A&M-Corpus Christi's drought to mount a 15-1 run and pull away for a 47-22 lead. A Beverly basket inside snapped the Islanders' drought from the field at the 12:16 mark.
The Islanders clamped down defensively, holding the Gophers to 0-for-6 from the field to construct a 12-5 run with only five free throws in the offensive column. Dale Francis was the key player, scoring seven points on 3-for-3 shooting to serve as the catalyst. But 15 points was as close as the Islanders would get the rest of the way, with the Gophers closing out the victory.
The Islanders return to action with the start of conference play on Thursday, Jan. 2, at Central Arkansas. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Farris Center. Yannis Koutroupis will have the call on NewsRadio 1360 KKTX starting at 7:10 with the pregame show.