Nebraska 77

(9-1, 1-1 away)

Minnesota 60

(6-3, 6-1 home)

    8:00 PM ET, December 29, 2003

    1 2 T
    NEB 31 4677
    MINN 32 2860

    Nebraska 77, Minnesota 60

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Nebraska and Minnesota were neck-and-neck Monday night, until the Cornhuskers decided to take the game outside.

    Nate Johnson and Brian Conklin combined for 42 points off the bench, hitting seven of Nebraska's 11 3-pointers, to beat Minnesota 77-60.

    "We'll take them whenever we can get them," said Conklin, who hit on five-of-six 3-point attempts. "It's just one of those nights"

    Johnson tied a career high with 25 points and Conklin had 17 for Nebraska (9-1), which shot 52 percent from the field and won on the road for first time since Feb. 20, 2002, at Texas A&M.

    Nebraska has won four straight and is off to its best start since going 11-1 to open the 1994-95 season.

    "To shoot like we did on the road in a tough place like this really gives us a confidence boost for the rest of the season," head coach Barry Collier said.

    "This is my first road win," said Johnson, a senior. "We're looking to turn that around this year."

    Kris Humphries had 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Gophers (6-3), who had won four straight overall and seven in a row at home. Moe Hargrow added 14 points and Ben Johnson had 11, but Minnesota shot just 33 percent (21-for-63) as a team.

    "We found out a lot today and we're just not ready," Gophers head coach Dan Monson said. "We've got not just one or two issues we need to address."

    Minnesota has beaten the likes of Missouri-Kansas City and Western Illinois, while losing to Utah, Virginia and now Nebraska.

    "It was frustrating," said Humphries, who has scored at least 20 points in eight of nine games this season. "We didn't come with the same intensity in the second half."

    The lead changed hands six times in the first six minutes of the second half, and Minnesota held a 43-41 advantage with 13:56 remaining before Nebraska started taking control.

    Over the next 7{ minutes the Huskers outscored the Gophers 24-6, hitting six straight 3-pointers to close the run.

    "It's good to get a 3-pointer once in a while," Conklin said. "When you get six in a row, it's amazing."

    "We had a four or five minute segment where they outplayed us as far as effort," Monson said. "That to me is disheartening and is something that isn't easy to fix."

    Conklin had three 3-pointers during the run and Johnson added eight points and a pair of 3's to give Nebraska a 65-49 lead at the 6:30 mark.

    The Gophers did not get closer than 13 the rest of the way.

    Both teams were coming off a down week for the holiday, and it showed in the first half as Nebraska had 13 turnovers to Minnesota's six.

    Johnson helped Nebraska overcome its mistakes with 10 points in the half. But the freshman Humphries kept the pace for Minnesota, scoring 15 first-half points, including a two-handed dunk off an alley-oop pass from Hargrow to give the Gophers a 32-31 lead at the break.

    Nebraska made 11-of-20 attempts from 3-point range, while Minnesota made just 5-of-24.

    Minnesota senior Michael Bauer made two free throws with 18:33 left in the game to surpass 1,000 points for his career, making him the 32nd Gopher to reach that mark. He finished with four points.

    "For my career, it's very humbling to look at others on that list and be included in that group," Bauer said. "At the same time, to get it on a day like today is not what I planned."

    "As a team we have to bounce back," he added.

    The Gophers will have to do that against another tough Big 12 opponent when they face Bobby Knight's Texas Tech Red Raiders on New Years Day.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2003-04 Season

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