The Minnesota Golden Gophers will advance in the 2012 NIT Tournament after beating the La Salle Explorers in the first round of the tournament on Wednesday night, 70-61.
Junior forward Rodney Williams led all scorers with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting while sophomore guard Austin Hollins added 16 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Ralph Sampson III didn't return from injury as expected, but it didn't hurt their production as Minnesota shot 52 percent as a team despite shooting just 1-of-11 from long range.
La Salle was kept in the game by hitting five of their 10 threes. They were led by senior guard Earl Pettis, who scored 19 points while Ramon Galloway threw down some tremendous dunks despite scoring just 13 points
The Golden Gophers will take on the Miami Hurricanes, who beat Valparaiso on Wednesday night, in the next round of the tournament.
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