MINNEAPOLIS - Rodney Williams with 15 points and eight rebounds as No. 21 Minnesota topped North Florida 87-59 Saturday.
Williams all but three of his points in the second half and Austin Hollins added 12 points for the Gophers (8-1), winners of four straight. Trevor Mbakwe and Joe Coleman had 11 points each. Parker Smith led the Ospreys (3-5) with 22 points while connecting on just 6 of 19 attempts, including a 3-for-11 mark from the 3-point line. Travis Wallace added 17.
Minnesota held a double-digit advantage throughout the second half. When North Florida cut its deficit to 10 early in the period, the Gophers went on a 9-0 run capped by a three-point play by Coleman, and led comfortably the rest of the way. The Gophers blocked a season-high 13 shots, including a career-high four from Andre Hollins and three from Mbakwe. Minnesota also tied a season high with 15 steals.
After hitting its first five attempts of the game, the Ospreys made just five shots on 23 shooting the rest of the first half as the Gophers forced tough looks and 11 North Florida turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Minnesota trailed 18-10 with 11:45 to play in the half, but followed with a 20-3 burst that included a 7 ½-minute scoreless stretch for the Ospreys. Six of the eight field goals during the Gophers' run were layups or dunks. Minnesota scored 16 points off turnovers in the first half and used its size advantage to grab 14 offensive rebounds turned into 13 points.
The Gophers finished with a season-high 25 offensive boards, ultimately outscoring North Florida 54-24 in the paint. North Florida committed a season-high 22 turnovers, the most forced by Minnesota this season. Gophers reserve Andre Ingram was not with the team due to a death in his family.
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