Scores

Final

Princeton 53

(6-6, 3-4 away)

Minnesota 57

(8-5, 0-1 Big Ten)

    8:00 PM ET, January 10, 2004

    1 2 T
    PRIN 19 3453
    MINN 25 3257

    Minnesota 57, Princeton 53

    MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Minnesota coach Dan Monson was looking for some toughness from his Gophers after they squandered a late lead and lost to Penn State in their Big Ten opener.

    Kris Humphries made sure his coach got what he wanted Saturday.

    Humphries had 21 points, eight rebounds and two blocks to lead Minnesota past Princeton 57-53 at Williams Arena.

    "I was really, really proud of our guys just scrapping out a win," Monson said. "That's the most important thing to get yourself on track."

    Adam Boone added 10 points -- all in the second half -- for the Gophers (8-5), who had lost three of their last four games, including the 75-72 loss to Penn State on Wednesday.

    "It's great momentum and hopefully we can build on that defensive effort," said the freshman Humphries, who has eight straight games with at least 20 points.

    "I guess it's baby steps," said Monson. "We're not just going to play hard and work hard and get better and everything be perfect in one day."

    Andre Logan tied a season high with 16 points for the Tigers (6-6), who are 0-6 on the road but gave No. 7 Oklahoma a scare Jan. 3, losing 58-55. Judson Wallace added 13 points, but the Tigers other scorer, Ed Persia, was held to just five.

    Minnesota held Princeton to a season-low 19 points in the first half.

    "We're not used to playing teams that stay back in a zone," Logan said. "They just sloughed back on defense and it took us a while to get going."

    Boone scored nine of Minnesota's first 14 points in the second half as the Gophers extended their lead to 39-28 with 12:55 left.

    But Princeton battled back. When freshman Harrison Schaen made a three-point play with 5:30 left to play, the Tigers were within 48-45.

    Judson Wallace made a free throw to bring Princeton to within two points. Will Venable's steal and breakaway layup tied the game at 48 with 2:41 left -- the first tie since 14:27 into the game.

    Humphries made two free throws with 2:22 left before Stan Gaines took a charge on Princeton's next possession, which resulted in a technical foul call on head coach John Thompson.

    When asked about the crucial call, Thompson wouldn't comment. He added, "A whole lot of calls tonight I won't comment on."

    Boone made one of two free throws to make it 51-48, and Venable missed a 3-pointer. Ben Johnson then scored four straight points for Minnesota.

    "It feels great no matter how much you win by," Humphries said. "We just played solid defense."

    It was the last non-conference game for Minnesota, which hosts Iowa on Tuesday.

    In the first half, Minnesota used a 10-0 run, which started with 13:56 to play, to take a 17-7 lead with 7:57 remaining. The Tigers had four turnovers, missed six straight shots and were held scoreless for nearly seven minutes.

    Jeff Hagen came off the bench to spark Minnesota, scoring four points and blocking two shots during the stretch, and Humphries had 12 points and five rebounds by halftime.

    Princeton trailed by just six points at the break, 25-19, despite turning the ball over nine times and shooting just 42 percent.

    The Tigers had won two of their last three games.

    "Everybody around here is saying to us 'good game, nice effort,' but we're tired of hearing it," Logan said. "We have to get over the hump."

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    » Jan 10, 2004 @MINN 57, PRIN 53Recap