PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Ben Johnson made the most of overtime for Minnesota.
After being held scoreless and missing a potential winning basket in regulation, Johnson scored four points in the extra session as Minnesota edged Temple, 63-58, to advance to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
Rick Rickert contributed 15 points and 13 rebounds and Michael Bauer added 12 points for the Golden Gophers (19-12), who will meet Georgetown at New York's Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
"We feel great now," said Bauer, whose team had lost five straight games before winning three in a row in the NIT. "A huge win for us. We're going to New York and everybody's smiling now. We could have laid down and died, but we didn't."
"As the year wore on and we lost our last four Big Ten (Conference) games and the first round of the Big Ten tournament ... everybody (else) had given up on their year and said it wasn't their year," Gophers coach Dan Monson said. "To their credit, they didn't listen to any of that. The NIT gave them a second chance."
Johnson gave the Gophers the lead for good, 56-54, on a pair of free throws with 3:28 to play in the extra session. Maurice Hargrow made it 57-54 after sinking the first of two free throws with 1:45 to play, but after he missed the second attempt, Bauer snagged the rebound and made a follow shot to give the Gophers a five-point edge.
"It felt great," Bauer said of his big offensive rebound. "It gave us some separation from them. It was an exhilarating feeling."
The Owls (18-16) got within 61-58 on a 3-pointer by freshman Maurice Collins with 33 seconds left, but Johnson capped the scoring with another pair of free throws 11 seconds later.
Brian Polk scored 19 points and David Hawkins added 14 for Temple, which had won 11 of its prior 13 contests but shot just 27 percent (18-of-67) from the field.
"You just can't win a game when two guys, David and Polk, are doing all the scoring," Temple coach John Chaney said. "But I can't fault (the team). They just gave us a great year."
Rickert gave the Gophers a 54-50 lead on a baseline jumper with 1:03 remaining in regulation before Polk countered with a 3-pointer 14 seconds later. After Rickert lost the ball out of bounds with 24 seconds remaining, Hawkins missed a layup but was fouled and sank 1-of-2 free throws to tie the contest with 13 seconds left.
Johnson missed a 3-pointer with one second to play, sending the game to overtime.
Temple closed the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 31-26 lead. After the Owls opened the second half on a 3-pointer, the Gophers went on a 10-0 run to take a two-point lead with 15:18 to play, and neither team led by more than four points until overtime. Though Temple grabbed 16 offensive rebounds to Minnesota's 11, the Gophers controlled the glass overall, 45-40. Rickert pulled down 11 of his 13 rebounds on the defensive end.
"I thought it was Rick's best game rebounding the ball," Monson said. "He had a couple of turnovers at the end of the game, but he said he was dog-tired."
"We just made so many mistakes," said Chaney, whose team was outscored in the paint, 32-16. "They must have gotten at least 18-19 extra shots. They're just so big."
Despite Chaney's compliments of the Minnesota frontcourt, Monson was concerned about the matchup with Georgetown power forward Mike Sweetney, who had 22 points and seven rebounds in the Hoyas' 79-74 win over North Carolina on Wednesday in the NIT quarterfinals. Sweetney has averaged 22.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this season.
"I told (my players) they might want to lift weights between now and Tuesday, since I don't really know who Sweetney's gonna match up with," Monson said.