Minnesota's NCAA Tourney Hopes Take Big Hit

Minnesota's hopes of making the NCAA tournament took a severe hit as they lost to Northwestern, who also needed a win to keep their tourney chances alive, 77-74 in overtime. The Gophers led 32-24 at halftime and was up 48-35 with 7:30 left in the game. However, the Wildcats went on a 22-6 run before Blake Hoffarner hit a three-pointer from the right corner with 20 seconds left to force overtime.

Minnesota went up 62-59 in overtime after a three-pointer by Blake Hoffarber, but Michael Thompson answered with a three-pointer of his own, leading Northwestern to a 9-0 run to make it 68-62. Northwestern sealed the game by making nine of ten free throws in overtime.

John Shurna scored 22 points to lead the Wildcats and freshman Drew Crawford added 18 points and nine rebounds. Thompson had 14 points and seven assists and Luka Mirkovic had eleven points and ten caroms

Lawrence Westbrook led Minnesota, which fell to 14-10 overall and 5-7 in Big Ten play, with 22 points. DEvoe Joseph had 16 points and Paul Carter added 13 off the bench. It was the Golden Gophers' seventh loss in ten games. They would have to win their six remaining games to reach the 20-win plateau.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories