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OSU MEN Stamper helps grab victory for Gophers



Published: Sat, February 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Minnesota snaps three-game losing streak in 52-50 victory over Buckeyes.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Vincent Grier had 14 points and 10 rebounds and J'son Stamper came up with two big plays down the stretch to lift Minnesota to a 52-50 victory against Ohio State on Saturday.

Stamper tipped in a loose ball with 34.9 seconds remaining for a 51-50 lead, then chased down two rebounds on Ohio State's final two possessions to preserve the victory and snap Minnesota's three-game losing streak.

Terence Dials had 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Ohio State, but he missed a nice look from about 6 feet that would have given the Buckeyes the lead.

Stamper corralled the rebound after a frantic scramble under the Buckeyes' basket and Aaron Robinson made one free throw to cap the scoring for the Gophers (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten).

The Buckeyes (18-9, 7-6) had one more chance to tie or win the game with nine seconds to play. But J.J. Sullinger's off-balance jumper in the lane was off the mark, and Stamper snatched the board again as time ran out.

Stamper finished with four points and six rebounds, and Jeff Hagen added 12 points and six rebounds for the Gophers, who out-rebounded Ohio State 38-25.

Sullinger finished with six points and nine rebounds for Ohio State, which lost for the second time in the last eight games.

Minnesota rallies

The Gophers led by as many as 12 in the second half and had a 47-40 lead on a layup by Stamper with 6:34 to play.

But Minnesota went the next 5:59 without a field goal to let the Buckeyes back in the game.

Dials converted a three-point play to pull the Buckeyes within four, then Ivan Harris hit a 3-pointer to cut the Gophers' lead to 47-46 with 4:22 to go.

Dials made two free throws on the next possession for the Buckeyes' first lead since 7-6 early in the first half and Sullinger hit a jumper with one minute to play for a 50-49 lead.

But the Buckeyes just couldn't climb out of a big hole made by poor shooting through the first 25 minutes.

Ohio State shot just 25 percent in the first half and yielded a 7-0 run to the Gophers to start the second to fall behind 31-19.

Tournament berth?

The victory put the Gophers back on track for a run at their first NCAA tournament berth in coach Dan Monson's six seasons at the school.

They finish the season with a home game against Iowa and road dates with Purdue and Penn State. Winning all three would put them on solid ground with 20 victories.

The Buckeyes were playing without junior forward Matt Sylvester, who served a one-game suspension for unsportsmanlike behavior toward a fan at Michigan State last week.




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