Hoops update: Men face Huskers

The Gopher men's basketball team is back in action tonight, hosting Nebraska at the Barn. Meanwhile, the women advanced to the finals of the Cavalier Classic in Virginia, and preparations for Wednesday's Sun Bowl continue in El Paso, Texas.

Dan Monson's Gophers take on a tough nonconference foe Monday night when 8-1 Nebraska visits Williams Arena. The Cornhuskers feature a balanced attack, with only forwards Andrew Drevo (10.8 ppg) and John Turek (10.0) scoring in double figures.

Minnesota fans might remember Drevo, who menaced the Gophers last year with 27 points and 14 boards in an 80-60 victory in Lincoln, Neb. Minnesota is 2-2 against Nebraska under Monson, with both wins coming at home.

The Cornhuskers boast the nation's third-best defense, holding foes to just 52.8 points per game (compared to 71.8 for the Gophers). They've posted quality wins this year against Arizona State (66-60) and Tennessee (77-62), but all eight of their victories have come at home. In their only venture outside of Lincoln, the Huskers lost at Creighton 61-54 on Dec. 10.

The 6-2 Gophers have won four straight and are coming off a one-week layoff. Their last game was a 74-69 overtime win against Duquesne last Monday at Williams Arena. Like Nebraska, the Gophers are perfect at home but haven't won on the road yet this year.

Women top Georgia State

Four players hit double figures as the seventh-ranked Gopher women rolled to an 81-52 victory over Georgia State Sunday in the semifinals of the Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va.

Minnesota (9-0) was led by All-America guard Lindsay Whalen, who scored 18 points and dished out seven assists. Shannon Schonrock hit four 3-pointers in scoring 15 points, while Kadidja Andersson scored 14 and Jamie Broback added 13.

The Gophers, who lead the nation in shooting percentage at 53.9, knocked down 54.9 percent of their field goal attempts Sunday against Georgia State (4-3). They held Georgia State to just 37 percent from the floor on Sunday.

Minnesota will take on host Virginia in Monday night's championship game. The Cavaliers (5-4) tipped Temple 72-71 in the other semifinal.

Sun Bowl prep continues

Glen Mason's Gopher football team continued its week of practice in El Paso, Texas, in preparation for Wednesday's Sun Bowl tilt against Oregon.

The Gophers (9-3) practiced in shoulder pads and shorts during Sunday's two-hour workout. They'll have one more full workout Monday and a walkthrough Tuesday to get ready to face the 8-4 Ducks.

After practice, Mason offered his thoughts on the team's performance to date in El Paso. "We looked much better today than yesterday. Yesterday was not a good practice. Why? I'm not sure. Today went very well. I never know what to expect."

The Gophers will have some time off after practice Monday to enjoy the festivities surrounding the bowl game, which Mason thinks is key to the bowl experience. "Normally during the regular season, it's all business. These players have a lot of demands on their time with classes, weightlifting and practices. Why give up a Christmas vacation if you're not going to at least have some fun?"

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories