Updated: 03/26/2014 1:56 PM KSTP.com By: Cassie Hart
Minnesota's Austin Hollins, left, beats Southern Mississippi's Jeremiah Eason, right, to a loose ball during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the third round of the National Invitational Tournament in Minneapolis.
Photo: Photo: AP/Tom Olmscheid
Austin Hollins scored a career-high 32 points to lead Minnesota to an 81-73 win Tuesday night over Southern Mississippi and a spot in the NIT semifinals.
Hollins, playing in his school-record 139th game, scored 12 straight points in a span of 1:42 to erase an eight-point first-half deficit. He made all 10 of his foul shots, including six straight in the final 48.1 to hold off the Golden Eagles, who had closed to within 78-73.
Joey King scored 15 and Maurice Walker added 12 for Minnesota (23-13), which is in the NIT semifinals for the second time in three years and seventh overall.
The Golden Gophers play Florida State or Louisiana Tech Tuesday at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Southern Mississippi (29-7), who was led by Neil Watson's 16 points, lost in the NIT quarterfinals for the second straight year.
USM tied a school record with 29 victories.
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