8:00 PM ET, December 5, 2006
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Minnesota pulled out of a six-minute scoring drought Tuesday night to win 74-65 over a No. 25 Nebraska team that entered the Associated Press rankings this week for the first time in three seasons.Brittany McCoy made tie-breaking free throws with 1:44 left and Minnesota held Nebraska without a field goal the last 3:52."Our kids did a great job weathering the storm and making big plays at the end of the game when we needed them," Gophers coach Pam Borton said. "I do think we're a tough-minded team."The Gophers (8-2) outscored the Huskers 14-1 after Kiera Hardy had given Nebraska a 64-60 lead.After McCoy's free throws broke a 64-all tie, Kelly Roysland hit a driving layup after a Hardy turnover to make it a four-point game.Nebraska missed its last seven shots from the field."We had felt we had some pretty good looks in the last 3½ minutes," Huskers coach Connie Yori said. "You have to make some shots. They made more plays than we did in tight situations. That's really what it came down to."Roysland led the Gophers with 20 points. Ashley Ellis-Milan added 15 and McCoy 14, and Korinne Campbell had 14 rebounds to go with eight points.Nebraska (6-2), which entered the Top 25 this week for the first time since January 2004, saw its six-game win streak end.Kelsey Griffin had 17 points, Chelsea Aubry 14 points and eight rebounds and Hardy 12 points for the Huskers.Ellis-Milan hit a buzzer-beating putback to give the Gophers a 44-41 halftime lead. Nebraska struggled offensively against Minnesota's man-to-man defense.The Huskers hit just 36 percent of their shots and made only 5-of-28 3-pointers. They also made just 10-of-21 free throws.Minnesota shot 43 percent from the field and made 20-of-28 free throws. The Gophers also held a 51-38 rebound advantage."I'm very proud of our kids for being able to come on the road and play our best game of the year so far," Borton said. "We honed up our defense and really battled on the boards in the second half. That gave us the win."The Huskers trailed by as many as six points early in the second half. But Minnesota went scoreless on 12 straight possessions over six minutes.Griffin made a jumper in the lane and a free throw to give Nebraska a 62-60 lead with 4:22 left, and Hardy scored to increase the lead to four points.But the Gophers came back and broke open the game as Nebraska went cold at the end."I thought we played a little tight for whatever reason," Yori said. "I don't know if that's playing with a little more expectation on us. We just didn't make any plays when it counted down the stretch."