The Gophers picked up where they left off from their game against Duke yesterday, playing consistent basketball, resulting in the University of Minnesota’s first upset win of the year with a 84-75 defeat of No. 19 Memphis at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
Sophomore Dre Hollins scored 41 points for the Gophers, leading all scorers, while shooting a perfect 5-for-5 from beyond the arc and 12-for-13 from the free throw line.
Friday’s win was a homecoming of sorts for Hollins, who is from Memphis. He was overlooked by the Tigers in high school but had the final say in an epic offensive performance.
Austin Hollins, also from around Memphis, made his contribution to the win, dishing six assists, but had a poor shooting performance, converting only one of his seven three point attempts.
Rodney Williams, the leader of the Gophers in their loss to No. 5 Duke on Thursday, was the second leading scorer for Minnesota, with 13 points while displaying wild bursts of athleticism, including blocking a dunk with 30 seconds left.
As a team, Minnesota shot only 41 percent, but the defense stepped up, contesting Memphis’ shots at every possession.
The Tigers took 19 more shots than the Gophers, but only made 35 percent of their attempts.
Memphis was in the game throughout, including grabbing a lead with a few minutes remaining in regulation after going on a 11-2 run, but the Gophers showed why they belong in the top-25 by responding with key steals and unselfish passing.
The Tigers should be upset with themselves as they missed key free throws down the stretch, converting 14-of-26 attempts in the game.
If Minnesota has an Achilles’ Heel, it is their sloppy ball handling that has become apparent through the first six games of the season.
The Gophers can place 5th overall in the Battle 4 Atlantis if they can win their Saturday afternoon match up against Stanford.