At the Half: Gophers stay close thanks to inside game

by Jace Frederick

The Gophers are a perimeter-based team. No one is debating that.

But the question has been, when Minnesota can't hit from the outside, can the Gophers generate enough of a presence on the offensive end to compete?

Through one half on Saturday, the answer is yes.

The Gophers shot a miserable 1 for 9 from downtown through 20 minutes, but trail Northwestern only 32-29, thanks to 24 points in the pain.

And who else would lead the inside charge but junior center Mo Walker. Walker tallied 12 first-half points to lead the team after he posted 18 in the Gophers win over Wisconsin just 10 days ago.

Northwestern on the other hand, is hitting from the outside. The Wildcats are 6 for 13 from deep. They were led by junior guard JerShon Cobb — who had 11 points and five boards in the first half.

Malik Smith had a tough first half, shooting 0 for 7 from deep.

The Gophers will need to hit from outside to pull this game out. But they're still competitive at halftime because they were able to score down low, and that's progress.