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No. 20 Minnesota Quells Bethune-Cookman

December 7, 2002

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ Michael Bauer had 13 of his 19 points in the first half for 20th-ranked Minnesota in a 79-52 victory Friday night over Bethune-Cookman.

The Golden Gophers (4-0) were missing leading scorer Rick Rickert, who was ill.

Jerry Holman had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Moe Hargrow added 15 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota.

A turnaround jumper by Rickert with 9 seconds left _ as well as some tough defense _ pushed the Gophers past Georgia Tech 64-63 on Wednesday.

Minnesota had its defense working well again in this one. Richard Toussaint came in leading the Wildcats (1-3) with 22.3 points per game, but he had only 13 on 5-for-21 shooting.

Maurice Riddick added 10 points for Bethune-Cookman, which had only two starters taller than 6-foot-3 and nobody over 6-8.

Against Georgia last Saturday, Minnesota overcame an 0-for-5 shooting performance by Rickert in the second half and beat the Bulldogs 72-69 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Bauer.

Rickert’s illness gave the Gophers another chance to see what they could do without their sophomore star forward.

Bauer, who came off the bench the last two games, got the start and injected a little energy into an otherwise-bland first half. The crowd of 12,145 was noisier at halftime during a grade-school girls game.

Bauer had eight points toward a 14-0 Minnesota run early in the game that put the Gophers up 16-4 with

Minnesota defeated Georgia and Georgia Tech by a total of four points, but this one didn’t require as much stress. Instead, it gave subs Steve Esselink (eight points), Stan Gaines (six points) and Jeff Hagen a chance for extended playing time.

The Gophers were also without reserve guard Aaron Robinson, suspended by coach Dan Monson for Friday’s game as well as Sunday’s game at Nebraska for violating team rules.

This is the fourth time Bethune-Cookman, from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, has played at Minnesota. The Gophers have won each time.

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