March 22, 2012 in Sports

Minnesota advances to NIT semis against Washington

Associated Press
 
NIT final four

At New York

Tuesday’s games

• Washington (24-10)

vs. Minnesota (22-14)

• Stanford (24-11)

vs. Massachusetts (25-11)

March 29

Championship game

Rodney Williams and Andre Hollins each scored 24 points to help Minnesota advance to the semifinals of the NIT with a 78-72 win over Middle Tennessee on Wednesday night in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Elliott Eliason added 12 points and seven rebounds for Minnesota, while Hollins also had six rebounds and four assists.

Marcos Knight led Middle Tennessee (27-7) with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Minnesota (22-14) will face Pac-12 regular-season champion Washington at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. It will mark the Gophers’ first appearance in the NIT semis since 2003.

Minnesota, which also won road games over La Salle and Miami in the tournament, handed Middle Tennessee only its second home loss of the season. The Blue Raiders had won 13 in a row at the Murphy Center since an 87-84 loss in double overtime to Belmont on Nov. 20.

The Blue Raiders narrowed the game to one possession in the final minute, but Minnesota converted 11 of 12 free throws, including its last eight in a row.

Williams, who scored Minnesota’s first eight points of the game, was 8 of 11 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free-throw line.

Stanford 84, Nevada 56: Josh Owens and Chasson Randle each scored 15 points to help the Cardinal (24-11) beat the Wolf Pack (28-7) in Stanford, Calif., and earning the Cardinal a spot in the NIT semifinals.

Josh Huestis added 12 points for the Cardinal, who will meet UMass at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Aaron Bright had 10 points for Stanford.

Malik Story scored 14 points to lead the Wolf Pack, who had won six of their previous seven games. Deonte Burton added 13 points and Olek Czyz had 11.

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