NEW YORK — Freshman guard Andre Hollins scored 20 points, including five in overtime, and short-handed Minnesota beat Washington 68-67 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT title game.
With the shot clock winding down and the Golden Gophers clinging to a one-point lead in the final minute, Hollins banked in an off-balance shot to put Minnesota up 68-65.
The top-seeded Huskies (24-11), who trailed by 15 late in the first half, sent the game to overtime when C.J. Wilcox stole the ball in the backcourt and hit the tying layup with 16.3 seconds left.
Wilcox had a good look at a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of overtime, but the ball bounced off the rim. Darnell Gant put back the miss to pull Washington within a point, but after Julian Welch missed two free throws with 3.5 seconds remaining, Abdul Gaddy's desperation shot from beyond midcourt fell well short.
The sixth-seeded Golden Gophers (23-14) will face No. 3 seed Stanford in Thursday night's championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Cardinal beat Massachusetts 74-64 in the first semifinal.
Terrence Ross led the Huskies with 21 points.
Washington, which trailed by six with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, pulled within 59-57 on Ross' 3 with just under a minute to go, the closest the Huskies had been since midway through the first half.
Hollins let the shot clock run down before starting his drive, and Tony Wroten fouled him with 28.9 seconds remaining. The freshman, a 91.6 percent free throw shooter, drained both to put the Gophers up by four.
Gaddy made two free throws to pull Washington back within 61-59 with 22.8 seconds left. Instead of waiting to get fouled, Minnesota's Joe Coleman tried an extra pass, and Wilcox made him pay.
Hollins then missed a jumper and Wroten had a look at a long 3 that would have won it at the buzzer.
Hollins' three-point play put Minnesota up 64-61 just over a minute into overtime.
The Golden Gophers went on a 13-4 run to take a 32-19 lead with less than 4 minutes left in the first half and kept Washington at arm's length until the final minutes.
Wroten, a freshman who is Washington's second-leading scorer at 16.2 points per game, has struggled during the NIT, and he scored just nine points Tuesday.Comment on this story
The Huskies, who finished atop the Pac-12 standings, came into the NIT looking to prove they belonged in the NCAA tournament after they became the first team to win a regular-season title in one of the six power conferences and still miss the NCAAs.
The Golden Gophers are making a long NIT run despite losing star forward Trevor Mbakwe to a season-ending knee injury in their seventh game. Senior center Ralph Sampson III has missed the last six with a sprained right knee.
Minnesota is looking for its third NIT crown after winning in 1993 and 1998. Stanford won the 1991 title.