Live Blog: Gophers Men’s Basketball at Northwestern

by Marco LaNave

EVANSTON, Ill. — The Gophers need every win they can get, if they want a shot at the NCAA Tournament.  They can’t afford to pass on the chance to sweep Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday afternoon.  The winner will carry the sixth place spot in the conference standings into the final three weeks of the regular season.

End regulation – Hoffarber, who hadn’t made a 3-pointer all game, hit one from the corner to tie the game with 18.5 seconds remaining. Thompson missed a short shot on the other end to send it to overtime. GOPHERS 57, NORTHWESTERN 57.

2:38 2nd – Northwestern is on a 10-0 run over the last 2:04. Not sure how to explain it. Northwestern keeps hitting shots and has stopped the Gophers on consecutive possessions. NORTHWESTERN 55, GOPHERS 52.

8:52 2nd – The Wildcats closed the lead to two behind three 3-pointers by Shurna, but the Gophers answered with eight straight points and a 12-2 run overall. GOPHERS 47, NORTHWESTERN 35.

Halftime – Westbrook’s stellar 12-point first half was proceeded by an impressive halftime magic and dance show at Welsh-Ryan Arena. One of the media members seated near me gave it a standing ovation (the halftime show, not the first half). GOPHERS 32, NORTHWESTERN 24.

2:23 1st – The Wildcats have started to hit 3-pointers (they were bound to start making them with 16 3-point attempts in the half already) to assemble a 9-2 run. GOPHERS 28, NORTHWESTERN 24.

6:54 1st – Gophers junior forward Paul Carter, who scored nine of his 11 points in the first half on Thursday, has scored the last nine straight for Minnesota to extend the lead. GOPHERS 26, NORTHWESTERN 15.

11:55 1st – Joseph has made another 3-pointer, while the Wildcats, who have attempted the second-most 3-point shots in the conference, have only made 1-of-7 from long range. GOPHERS 14, NORTHWESTERN 9.

15:26 1st – Westbrook has hit a pair of 3-point shots, and Joseph has also hit one to give Minnesota lead. GOPHERS 11, NORTHWESTERN 4.

The small section of Gophers student fans who made the trip have been vocal from the upper deck.

Starting Lineups:

Minnesota Gophers (14-9, 5-6 Big Ten)

F Sr. Damian Johnson
G Jr. Blake Hoffarber
C So. Ralph Sampson III
G So. Devoe Joseph
G Sr. Lawrence Westbrook

Northwestern Wildcats (16-8, 5-7 Big Ten)

F So. John Shurna
F Fr. Drew Crawford
C So. Luka Mirkovic
G Sr. Jeremy Nash
G Jr. Michael Thompson