Men’s hoops collapses in loss

Minnesota coach Dan Monson warned his team this week of the dangers Northwestern could pose.

Guard Ben Johnson, who transferred from Evanston, Ill., reiterated the warnings.

Now, Minnesota’s men’s basketball team probably wishes it heeded their advice.

The Gophers lost 58-56 Wednesday night at Northwestern blowing a chance to tie for first place in the Big Ten.

Minnesota (14-8, 7-4 Big Ten) was outscored by the Wildcats 23-15 down the stretch and lost when forwards Michael Bauer and Dusty Rychart missed their final shots.

The Gophers who recently have exploded in the second half of games, held a one-point advantage at halftime and followed form by going on a 10-2 run, holding the largest lead of the game at nine points.

Northwestern (14-9, 5-6) used its own 10-2 second half run to close the gap to one at 41-40.

A three-pointer by guard Jitim Young gave the Wildcats a one-point lead with 1:26 remaining.

Minnesota had three possessions to regain the lead but a missed three-pointer by Rick Rickert, a turnover by Kerwin Fleming and missed shots by Bauer and Rychart sealed the Gophers fate.