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Huskers take advantage of worn out Gophers

12/8/2002

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Minnesota was playing its third game in
five days and Rick Rickert, the Big 10 preseason player of the
year, was feeling the effects of the flu.

Nebraska took full advantage of the situation Sunday, running
away with an 80-60 victory over the Golden Gophers (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP).

Andrew Drevo had career-highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to
lead the Cornhuskers.

Drevo, a transfer from Division II Morningside, scored 10 points
as the Cornhuskers took a 16-0 lead.

''When you go on a big run, it's important to not get too
excited,'' Drevo said. ''The tendency is to let down. Minnesota
made a couple runs, but we never let down.''

The Gophers (4-1) missed their first five shots and committed
five turnovers before Michael Bauer scored 5:59 into the game to
end the drought.

The Huskers (3-3) scored on seven of their first 10 possessions
to start the rout, with Drevo hitting two 3-pointers and dunking
two putbacks.

''We obviously as coaches and players have to take
responsibility that we weren't ready to play,'' Minnesota coach Dan
Monson said. ''When you get down 16-0, it's a tough chore. They're
a tired team and, I think, a team that has a lot of pride. They
were embarrassed today.''

Maurice Hargrow led the Gophers with 15 points and Jerry Holman
added 13.

Rickert, the Big 10 freshman of the year last season, played
only 17 minutes and was held scoreless. Rickert, who came into the
game averaging 18.3 points, missed the Gophers' win over
Bethune-Cookman on Friday because of the flu. He still was ailing
Sunday.

''Rick is weak. He's obviously not ready yet,'' Monson said.
''Playing at this level, he wasn't in any condition to do it, but
we needed him and he tried.''

The Gophers, playing their first road game, shot a season-low
31.1 percent from the field, including just 22.2 percent from
3-point range (6-of-27). They committed 16 turnovers.

Holman's basket early in the second half got the Gophers within
46-32, but the Huskers went on a 19-3 run to lead 65-35 with 11:40
left.

Drevo, a 6-foot-8, 270-pound junior forward who sat out last
year after transferring, is averaging 17.3 points in his last three
games. This game was his first double-double.

''He didn't do anything that he hasn't done every day,''
Nebraska coach Barry Collier said. ''He just did it all in a row
today. Andrew has the ability to play inside and outside. He's a
handful.''

Nate Johnson, who added 14 points for the Huskers, said Drevo
has been a pleasant surprise.

''When he hit those early shots, it was like a confidence boost
for him,'' Johnson said. ''But it was also a boost for the whole
team because everyone feeds off that.''

The Huskers, who lost to Division II Alaska-Fairbanks two weeks
ago, look to build off Sunday's upset.

''It's only a single game, but it's a great win for our team,''
Collier said. ''We didn't have a senior dress for us today, so it
was important for our guys to know how things can be when you play
at a high level.''