As the crowd inside the Erwin Center began to thin out, Minnesota took control against UCLA and pulled out a 20-point win with an 83-63 drubbing of the Bruins.
The Gophers led by ten points at the half and caused the Bruins fits offensively all night. UCLA would finish the game shooting 32-percent from the field, and although leading scorer Shabazz Muhammad would go on to score 20 points, he missed his first seven shots and would not score until early in the second half. Muhammad went 0-of-6 from beyond the three point line. Head coach Ben Howland used just seven players, and save for Muhammad, the Bruins had tons of trouble finding the bottom of the net. Forward Travis Wear got into foul trouble early and was rendered ineffective for much of the game.
"We switched and denied the ball lots of times and made [Muhammad] work a little harder," Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith said. "Our bench gave us a lot of production tonight and I thought that wore them down to where we could pull away in the end."
Andre Hollins exploded for 28 points nine rebounds and five assists as the Gophers extended their halftime lead and forced the Bruins into bad shots and 15 total turnovers. The Gophers scored 15 points off the fast break and muscled their way to 34 points in the paint.
"[Andre] Hollins was unbelievable tonight," Bruins head coach Ben Howland said.
Minnesota’s other Hollins, Austin, scored 16 points and dished out seven of the Gophers’ 19 team assists.
"I thought Austin and Andre did a fantastic job," Smith said. "They were on tonight."
The Gophers led by as many as 23 points in the second half and did not allow UCLA to score a basket in the game’s final two minutes. Minnesota moves on to face Florida at 5:10 p.m. Sunday night at the Erwin Center.
"Well, Billy Donovan's teams I've had a lot of wars with in the SEC," Smith said. "They have size. We are similar teams, we both like to get out and run, we both like to press. It will be an interesting game."