The University of Minnesota men's basketball team was defeated by Georgetown University, 88-74, in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night.
Minnesota (19-13)was unable to stop the inside game of Georgetown junior center Michael Sweetney. Sweetney scored a game-high 32 points and grabbed nine rebounds. He was 16-of-18 from the free-throw line and also had four assists and four steals.
Sophomore forward R ick Rickert led five Golden Gophers in double figures with 17 points. Junior guard B en Johnson scored 15 off the bench for the Maroon and Gold, J erry Holman and M aurice Hargrow each tallied 11 points and Ke vin Burleson added 10.
Minnesota trailed by 14 at the half, 47-33, but stormed back in the first five minutes of the second frame. The Gophers closed the game to one at 53-52 with 14:21 left on a Burleson layup. The Hoyas then went on an 11-0 run which effectively put the game out of reach.
The gap closed to seven points, 75-68, after a Rickert running hook in the lane, but Sweetney was too much down the stretch with six points in the last three minutes to salt the game away.
The Gophers can still capture their 20th win of the season on Thursday. They will face Texas Tech on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Central Time in the NIT Third Place game.