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Updated: February 16th, 2014 7:38pm
Led by Mathieu, Gophers win at Northwestern for first time since 2008

Led by Mathieu, Gophers win at Northwestern for first time since 2008

by The Associated Press

EVANSTON, Ill. -- DeAndre Mathieu scored 13 of his 18 points in the second half and Minnesota came back to defeat cold-shooting Northwestern 54-48 on Sunday.

Maurice Walker and Andre Hollins each had eight points for the Gophers (17-9, 6-7 Big Ten), who won for just the second time in six games.

Minnesota also avenged a 55-54 loss to Northwestern at Minneapolis on Feb. 1 and ended a five-game losing streak at Evanston dating to February 2008.

The Wildcats (12-14, 5-8) got the tight defensive game they wanted, but lost their third straight as they went just 7 for 28 from the floor in the second half and missed nine straight field goal attempts until Tre Demps dumped in a layup with 10 seconds left.

Northwestern's JerShon Cobb scored on 5 of 7 3-point attempts and led Northwestern with a season-high 23 points. Alex Olah added 10.

Northwestern leading scorer, Drew Crawford, had 11 rebounds but was held to just two points on 1-for-15 shooting. He didn't connect until his ninth shot at 4:54 into the second half.

For the game, Northwestern shot only 30.2 percent while Minnesota shot 46.3 percent.

Andre Hollins nailed a 3-pointer from the left side 2:16 into the second half to put Minnesota ahead 32-31 and set up a tight, back-and-forth period. Neither team led by more than three points through the first 16 minutes of a scrappy second frame.

Minnesota pulled ahead 49-44 when Austin Hollins hit a 3-pointer with 3:09 left. Neither team scored again until a free throw by Minnesota's Malik Smith with 27 seconds left made it 50-44.

A pair of free throws by Northwestern's Kale Abrahamson with 15 seconds left cut it to 50-46 and gave the Wildcats a glimmer of hope. But Mathieu hit two shots from the line a second later to ice it.

The Wildcats scored on just two of their first 11 shots from the floor, but set the tone for most of the first half with a deliberate half-court attack and tight defensive play that led to 10 Minnesota turnovers.

Northwestern used a 9-2 spurt midway through the period to take the lead and moved ahead by as many as seven, but settled for 28-25 halftime advantage when Mathieu swished in a 3-point shot with 3 seconds left.

Northwestern opened its biggest lead of the half, 26-19 when Cobb connected on the third of his 3-pointers. He led the Wildcats with 13 points in the period, going 3 for 4 from beyond the arc and 4 for 6 overall from the floor.

Northwestern's Alex Olah tied it 44-all on a free throw with 7:10 left to complete a three-point play. Minnesota went ahead for good at 45-44 on Walker's free throw less than a minute later.

© The Associated Press
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