2:00 PM ET, January 4, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- It took about 20 minutes for Kris Humphries to get comfortable Sunday, just in time for the Gophers to snap a two-game losing streak.Humphries had 28 points -- 18 in the second half -- and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota past Wofford 82-70 in the Gophers' final game before starting their Big Ten schedule."The second half was a lot better, we got a lot more stops," said Humphries, who has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in seven of 11 games. "When we get down on the floor and are active like we can be, we're a different team."Ben Johnson and Moe Hargrow added 19 points each for Minnesota (7-4), which trailed by three points at the half against the Southern Conference opponent."Obviously they'd seen us play and thought they could come in here and sneak away with the win," Johnson said. "We just had to respond better in the second half and get it started on the defensive end."Sophomore Howard Wilkerson scored a career-high 20 points for Wofford (3-8), which lost its fifth straight. Greg Taylor had 13 points and Tyler Berg added 11."We should have had them," said Wilkerson, who was matched up against Humphries for most of the game. "It's not good enough anymore to be close."The Terriers were playing the fourth of six consecutive road games and have played a tough nonconference schedule, including three opponents (Texas, Vanderbilt and Dayton) that have been nationally ranked at some point this season.Trailing 37-34, Minnesota opened the second half with a 16-2 run to take an 11-point lead with 12:41 left to play. Humphries started the scoring with a two-handed dunk off an Adam Boone alley-oop pass."There's always stuff said in the locker room," said Humphries about halftime. "We came together as a team, coaching staff and everyone."The freshman scored nine points during the decisive run, Johnson had the other seven while Wofford was 0-for-7 from the field.The Terriers finally made a shot when Jeff Tarr hit a short jumper with 12:25 remaining, but the Gophers went on another run to extend their lead to 56-43 with 10:50 left to play.Wofford could only get as close as seven points the rest of the way."We definitely feel like this was a wasted opportunity," Tarr said of the chance to beat a Big Ten opponent. "We seemed fired up coming out of the locker, but we need to figure out a way to get over the hump.""It's disappointing," Wofford coach Mike Young said. "But, the fact of the matter is that they're a Big Ten basketball team with great players, and I feel we are as prepared as we have been to enter league play."Minnesota and Wofford exchanged baskets for most of the first half, but the Terriers finished off on a 9-4 run to take the halftime lead. Wofford shot 52 percent in the half, while the Gophers struggled at 33 percent.Minnesota opens Big Ten play on Wednesday at Penn State.
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