Junior point guard Andre Hollins scored 21 points to lead all scorers, including 12-of-16 from the free throw line, as the Gophers defeated the Florida State Seminoles at home Tuesday night, 71-61.
Despite shooting just 34 percent from the field, Minnesota took down the Seminoles in the first night of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, by playing defense and forcing Florida State into 17 turnovers while the Gophers only committed six turnovers on the night.
The win was Minnesota’s seventh of the season and helped the Gophers bounce back from a disappointing trip to Hawaii in which they went 1-2 at the Maui Invitational last week.
The Gophers will host the New Orleans Privateers on Saturday and will enjoy three more games against mid-major teams before opening the Big Ten season on Jan. 2, 2014 against Michigan at Williams Arena.
Head coach Richard Pitino played six players on the bench as the bench contributed 21 points. Five of the bench players scored a point — only Wally Ellenson, who played just two minutes, failed to record a basket.
The first night of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge went to the ACC, as of the six games played on Tuesday, the ACC won four of them. Six more games will be played on Wednesday and the Big Ten would need to win five games in order to win the challenge.
A total of 67 free throws were attempted during the game — 38 by Minnesota and 29 by Florida State. The Gophers made 73.7 percent of their attempts while the Seminoles converted just 65.5 percent.