Gophers gut out overtime victory

Minnesota overcame a miracle shot at the end of regulation to beat Arizona State.

For being shorthanded and on the road for only the second time this season, Minnesota’s men’s basketball team showed a lot of grit in its 85-79 overtime win at Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.

Both squads came out cold and combined to go 0-7 from the field. But the Sun Devils struck first and quickly jumped out to an 8-2 lead.

The Gophers battled back and took their first lead of the game, 15-14, with 10:41 to play in the half after freshman guard Brandon Smith converted the three-point play.

The first half saw nine lead changes and five ties, with Arizona leading at halftime, 32-20.

Senior guard Adam Boone led all scorers through one half of play with 10 points and sophomore forward Dan Coleman had eight points.

The Sun Devils had more balanced scoring, with four players tallying six points in the first half.

The big difference between the two squads in the first half was free-throw shooting.

Minnesota has shot a meager 65.8 percent from the free throw line this season and was just 5-13 from the stripe in the first half.

But Arizona State took advantage of its freebies and was 8-11 from the charity stripe.

However, the Gophers kept in the game with their atypically solid performance from behind the arc, while the Sun Devils didn’t make a single three.

Minnesota was 3-6 from three-point land, getting two from Boone and one from Coleman.

The Gophers return home to Williams Arena on Saturday for a noon date with UNLV.

Three Gophers selected

Minnesota men’s hockey freshman forwards Phil Kessel, Blake Wheeler and goaltender Jeff Frazee were named to the U.S. National Junior Team for the 2006 World Junior Championships. Defenseman Erik Johnson, who signed a letter of intent to play for the Gophers next season, was also selected to the team.

The World Junior Championships will be held from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 at three locations in British Columbia.

This is the second time Kessel has been selected to the team. It will be the first time Frazee, Wheeler and Johnson will play on the U.S. National Junior Team.

Johnson, who plays for the U.S. National Under 18 Team in Ann Arbor, Mich., will also be making his first appearance at the World Junior Championships.

Rankings report

Minnesota’s men’s hockey team fell to seventh in the newest U.S. College Hockey Online poll, released Monday.

The Gophers ” who were ranked fourth last week ” dropped four spots after a two-game home sweep at the hands of No. 1 Wisconsin this weekend.

Minnesota plays a road series at North Dakota on Friday and Saturday in Grand Forks, N.D.

Minnesota’s women’s basketball team dropped to the 14th spot in this week’s Associated Press poll, down four slots from the 10th ranking last week. The Gophers lost at No. 18 New Mexico on Wednesday and defeated Nebraska at Williams Arena on Saturday.

The Gophers play at home against Washington State on Saturday.