NCAA Game Summary - Stephen F. Austin at Minnesota
(Monday, November 16th)
Final Score: (24) Minnesota 82, Stephen F. Austin 42
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Lawrence Westbrook and Devoe Joseph each scored 15 points, as the 24th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers used a big second half to take down Stephen F. Austin, 82-42, at Williams Arena.
Rodney Williams added 14 points for the Golden Gophers (2-0), who started the season with an 87-50 blowout of Tennessee Tech on Friday. Damian Johnson ended with 11 points and five assists. Ralph Sampson III tallied eight points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota, which outscored the Lumberjacks, 56-23, in the second half.
"We played well in the second half. They had a good game plan to slow things down. We wanted to speed it up and we did in the second half. I thought we did a good job of attacking defensively," said Minnesota coach Tubby Smith.
Eddie Williams had 12 points and five rebounds for Stephen F. Austin (0-1), which was 24-8 overall in 2008-09, finished first in the Southland Conference and captured the conference tournament title by beating Texas-San Antonio in a 68-57 decision. Walt Harris and Orren Tims chipped in seven points apiece for the Lumberjacks, who shot 30.6 percent from the field.
The Golden Gophers, who committed 11 first-half turnovers, took a 26-19 lead into the locker room.
Minnesota came out firing to start the second half, putting together a 22-2 run. Williams had two dunks and a pair of free throws during the burst, which Joseph capped off with a trey for a 48-21 lead with 14:46 remaining.
The rout was on from there as Minnesota cruised the remainder of the way.
"We made our shots. We also made the switch putting Rodney Williams in the lineup. We wanted Rodney to play the four spot. Rodney hasn't been playing the four. He's been playing the three, which he's not as familiar with. It gives us a better rotation and he really played extremely well tonight," said Smith on the second half outburst.
The Golden Gophers shot 54.7 percent from the field and made 11-of-19 three- point attempts. The Lumberjacks made just 3-of-14 shots from beyond the arc...Stephen F. Austin made it to the NCAA Tournament last year, but the ride was extremely short as they bowed to Syracuse in the first round, 59-44.
11/16 22:50:13 ET