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Northwestern blows out UMN men’s basketball in Windy City

The Gophers’ offensive struggles continued Saturday, leading to their fifth consecutive loss.
Image by CJ Bonk
The team huddles between plays during their game against Indiana on Wednesday, Jan. 25.

The Gophers couldn’t find a rhythm Saturday, trailing nearly wire-to-wire in an 81-61 loss against Northwestern

After losing at home against Indiana on Wednesday, the Gophers traveled south to Evanston, Illinois, to play Northwestern, one of the top teams in the conference.

The Gophers were without leading scorer Dawson Garcia (bone bruise) and Braeden Carrington (stress reaction), who continue to deal with injuries. Freshman Pharrel Payne returned to the lineup Saturday and made his first career start after missing Wednesday’s game due to a concussion.

The Gophers had an early 11-7 lead on Saturday, but an 11-0 run for the Wildcats quickly gave them control. Four points from sophomore Treyton Thompson brought the Gophers within 8 points after facing a double-digit deficit during the early moments of the game.

The Wildcats went on a 9-point run to gain control of the first half, ultimately giving them the advantage at halftime with 45-28.

Northwestern took its largest lead of the game in the second half after a 3 pointer from redshirt senior Chase Audige brought the score to 61-36. Northwestern ultimately closed out their 10th home win of the season with a score of 81-61.

Minnesota’s Jamison Battle led the Gophers with 20 points compared to Northwestern’s Audige, who led the game with 24 points.

Northwestern’s patented defensive prowess shined through in the end. As a team, they had six blocks, with freshman Tydus Verhoeven responsible for half of them. They also forced 15 turnovers that led to 18 points, compared to the Gophers who only forced four.

The Gophers will head back to the court on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., where they will take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on the road in Piscataway, New Jersey.

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