LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Minnesota came into Nebraska on Wednesday
night believing it could beat the Cornhuskers, then promptly fell
behind by 14 points.
But the Golden Gophers turned up their defense, took the lead
midway through the second half and finished strong in a 57-48
"We came in here thinking we could win the game," Aaron
Robinson said. "We got our backs against the wall and had to play
against 10,000 fans. This was a big stepping stone for us. This was
a big win for us."
The Gophers (4-3) closed with a 17-3 run that provided their
first non-conference road win since December 2000.
Nebraska (3-2) lost for the first time in 17 home non-conference
Grier led all scorers with 17 points and Hagen added 11. Marcus
Neal had 10 to lead Nebraska.
"We've worked as hard or harder than any team in the country,"
Hagen said. "We feel like we're really a tough team and that can
help us win games. This is evidence of that coming true."
Minnesota coach Dan Monson credited the Gophers defense.
Nebraska hit 33 percent of its shots in the game and just 28
percent in the second half.
But Nebraska coach Barry Collier said his team appeared
reluctant to shoot during the Minnesota rally.
"I think as the game progressed, the hesitation became more of
the case," Collier said. "We didn't handle the comeback very well
and Minnesota played really well. We were in good shape and we just
hit a wall offensively."
Minnesota trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half and
was down by nine at halftime.
Minnesota cut the lead to three on Robinson's 3-pointer with
15:34 left and took the lead for the first time on his 3-pointer
with 8:57 left.
But the Huskers didn't score again until 21 seconds were left.
The Gophers started their run with three-point plays from J'son
Stamper and Hagen. Grier hit his 3s to put Minnesota up 52-45 with
45 seconds left, and free throws pushed the Gophers' lead to 10
points with 22 seconds left.
There was no scoring the first five minutes of the game.
Nebraska missed its first 10 shots, but the Huskers made 7 of their
next 10 to take a 19-5 lead with 8:50 left in the first half.
Minnesota hit just 2 of its first 10 shots.