Foul Play

Seeking a road upset against #16 Minnesota, Northwestern came up short, falling to the Golden Gophers, 81-70.

The game was won at the free throw line. Minnesota shot 31-46 from the charity stripe, while needless to say, Northwestern's 31 fouls caught up to them. Every Wildcat who played more than one minute finished with at least three fouls.

To add to their free throw numbers, the Gophers shot 53.3% from the field, while holding Northwestern to just 37.5% from the field.

Minnesota was finished with five scorers in double-figures, led by senior guard Blake Hoffarber's 20 points. Trevor Mbakwe also finished with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Northwestern was led by Michael Thompson, who finished with 18 points, on just 5-16 from the field, in 40 minutes.

The Wildcats appeared to be in trouble, down 13 points at the midway point of the first half. However, the Wildcats responded. A rally was sparked by Drew Crawford's pair of three-pointers, which would ignite a comeback. Down by two with second remaining till halftime, Alex Marcotullio drained a three-pointer, giving Northwestern a 34-33 lead going into the break.

The Wildcats finished the half on an 18-4 run.

Alex Marcotullio would drain another three in the first seconds of the second half, giving Northwestern a four-point lead. After that, fouls would cost the Wildcats. Minnesota shot 24-35 from the free throw line in the second half alone.

Meanwhile, Northwestern's foul trouble kept them out of rhythm, preventing a comeback.

The Golden Gophers extended their lead to double-digits, and would not look back.

Following the loss, Northwestern has yet another tough challenge waiting for them. The Wildcats will take on top-ranked Ohio State on Saturday at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tipoff is set for 6:00 CT.

Purple Wildcats Top Stories