ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Rick Rickert and Maurice Hargrow each scored 15
points to lead Minnesota to a 62-52 victory against Saint Louis in
the first round of the Owens Corning NIT tournament Wednesday night.
Minnesota (17-12) advances to play either UNLV or Hawaii next
Monday or Tuesday. The win snapped a five-game losing streak for
Minnesota. Saint Louis, winner of its last five home games, finished its
season at 16-14. The last time Minnesota and Saint Louis met was in
a first-round NIT game in 1996, and Minnesota won that game 68-52. Jerry Holman scored 13 points for the Golden Gophers. Chris Sloan led Saint Louis with 13 points and Anthony Drejaj
added 12. Marque Perry scored just six points for Saint Louis.
Perry, who averaged 17.5 points this season, had scored in double
figures in his last 16 games. Down by 16 in the second half, the Billikens used a 16-6 run to
get back in the game and were down just 47-42 with 8:27 left.
Drejaj make three 3-pointers during the run. Saint Louis would only get as close as four points, at 51-47
with 4:10 remaining, when Sloan scored on a dunk after a turnover. Minnesota, which led 35-20 at halftime, let Saint Louis back
into game by making only four of its first 15 shots of the second