Minnesota scores season-high 92 in win

Correction: This article incorrectly stated sophomore guard Lawrence Westbrook had a triple-double. Westbrook had a double-double.

Roommates Spencer Tollackson and Lawrence McKenzie did not watch much television this week after forgetting to pay their cable bill.

Maybe they should stay away from the tube more often.

The pair of seniors combined for 35 points and junior forward Jamal Abu-Shamala added a season-high 16, as the Minnesota men’s basketball team got back in the win column with a 92-72 victory over Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill., Wednesday night.

Four days after scoring a season-low 47 points, the Gophers responded with a season-high output – 92 points on 60.4 percent shooting from the field.

“I didn’t see that coming, but I’m glad it happened,” head coach Tubby Smith said.

Tollackson, who finished with 19 points, and McKenzie, who chipped in 16, were two of six Gophers who scored in double figures.

Freshman guard Blake Hoffarber poured in 15 points in the first Big Ten start of his career. Sophomore guard Lawrence Westbrook had a triple-double, pouring in 12 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Senior forward Dan Coleman added 10.

“That’s the way you win basketball games, with balance,” Smith, whose team also had 22 second-chance points said.

Minnesota scored 47 points in Sunday’s loss to Wisconsin. The Gophers (14-7 overall, 4-5 Big Ten) reached that point total by halftime Wednesday night.

After a back-and-forth first 10 minutes of play, including briefly trailing the Wildcats (7-13, 0-9) by two, the Gophers – led by 13 first-half points from Tollackson, used a late 13-2 run to build a 47-33 lead at intermission.

Tollackson went 4-of-4 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line in the first 20 minutes of play and finished the game a perfect 7-of-7 from the field.

“Spencer was very aggressive attacking the basket. (He) had an excellence night I thought,” Smith said.

Three-pointers by Abu-Shamala, Westbrook and Hoffarber to open the second half gave the Gophers their biggest lead at 60-39, one that they would not relinquish.

Comfort zone

Abu-Shamala continued his three-year trend of strong games in Evanston Wednesday night.

As a freshman, the Shakopee native went for 15 points on 4-of-4 three-point shooting. Last year, he led the Gophers to their only road win of the season with a 19-point output.