Gophers improve to 9-1
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Rodney Williams tied a career high with 18 points as Minnesota held off Appalachian State 70-56 Tuesday night.
Williams broke a 52-52 tie with a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 4:45 to play, followed by Chip Armelin’s three-point play and Julian Welch’s layup — both off of steals — to put the Gophers (9-1) ahead for good. Welch had 15 points for the Gophers and freshman Joe Coleman scored 10.
Ralph Sampson III, who missed two games due to a left ankle injury, supplied 10 points and five rebounds off the bench for Minnesota.
Omar Carter led the Mountaineers (4-4) with 18 points. Rodney Milum added a career-high 16 points, going 5 for 9 from behind the 3-point line.
Minnesota once again struggled to guard long-range shooters, as Appalachian State made 9 of 21 3-point attempts. The Gophers entered the game 11th in the Big Ten allowing opponents to shoot 38 percent from beyond the arc.
The Gophers missed their first seven shots from the floor, but hit 14 of their next 19 before halftime. Still, Appalachian State trailed by just two at the break thanks to Milum, who scored nine points on three 3-pointers during a 11-3 Mountaineers run to end the half.
Appalachian State shot 6 of 10 from beyond the arc in the first half, with Milum hitting 4 of 5.
Minnesota improved to 3-0 since losing starting forward Trevor Mbakwe to a torn right ACL.