NCAAB Game Recap - Northwestern at Minnesota
Sun Jan 5, 2020 7:30 PM EST

Mich
69
MSU
87
F
Dayt
80
StJos
67
F
Rich
69
URI
61
F
VACom
72
GMas
59
F
Navy
61
HolyC
63
F
Manh
67
Niag
62
F
Stony
73
Maine
52
F
WriSt
70
Detr
69
F
David
64
Duques
71
F
Fairf
46
Canis
42
F
IL-C
62
WIMil
64
F
IUPUI
93
WIGB
78
F
Maris
40
StPet
66
F
Sien
77
Rider
85
F
Iona
61
Monm
73
F
LoyMD
71
Leh
78
F
Buck
78
Lafy
66
F
LaSal
66
Ford
60
F
(N/A)
43
NDSt
97
F
NoKY
75
Oakl
64
F
Boston
63
Amer
67
F
StBon
71
GrgWas
66
F
UMass
80
StLou
83
F(OT)
Denv
78
SDak
80
F
StJon
67
Xav
75
F
HBU
79
NWSt
106
F
IPFW
69
N DA
83
F
OrSt
76
Colora
68
F
NW
68
Minn
77
F
Purd
37
Ill
63
F
USC
40
Wash
72
F

Jan 5, 2020, 7:30 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

Northwestern (5-8)

25

43

68

Minnesota (8-6)

34

43

77

Oturu, Minnesota overpower Northwestern 77-68
Sun Jan 5, 2020 11:29 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Daniel Oturu was a productive sidekick in the paint to Jordan Murphy as a freshman last season for Minnesota, flashing the potential to be the program's next standout big man.

With Murphy now a pro, well, Oturu is sure playing like one too.

Oturu had 19 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks in posting his ninth double-double of the season, leading Minnesota past Northwestern 77-68 on Sunday night.

"There's not a lot of things he can't do, to be honest," said Gophers guard Marcus Carr. "You know it's real tough when the other team's game-planning for him."

Carr added 17 points on 10-for-10 free-throw shooting for the Gophers, who made all 19 of their attempts for their first perfect game from the foul line of the season as they confidently bounced back from a potentially crushing double-overtime loss at Purdue in their previous game.

"That Purdue game (a double-overtime loss to the Boilermakers on Jan. 2) was devastating, mentally and physically," coach Richard Pitino said. "Everybody left everything out there."

Alihan Demir scored 11 points and freshman Tre' Williams pitched in a career-best 10 points for Minnesota (8-6, 2-2 Big Ten), which outrebounded an out-manned Northwestern team 43-28 and had an 18-6 edge in second-chance points.

Pat Spencer scored 22 points and Miller Kopp added 14 points for the Wildcats (5-8, 0-3), who have lost four straight games. They're the only team left in the 14-team league without a conference win, and they're facing a steeper climb to get one with a sudden rash of injuries that left coach Chris Collins with only seven scholarship players for this game.

With regulars Boo Buie, Anthony Gaines and A.J. Turner missing, the Wildcats had only one true guard, Spencer, in the starting lineup. Buie, a freshman, had 26 points against Michigan State and 25 points against DePaul last month.

"It's just going to be finding the guys that work well together and finding different pieces that are able to play together," said Spencer, a graduate transfer from Loyola of Baltimore.

Northwestern lost the last three games by a combined 11 points, but this one was never truly close once Minnesota took control around the midpoint of the first half.

The Wildcats were averaging more than 20 attempts from 3-point range entering the night, but they went nearly three quarters of the game without even trying one. The Gophers went 6 for 19 from long distance in the first half, succeeded with a volume strategy against Northwestern's zone defense. Sharp ball movement helped them get plenty of open looks, though, thanks to the attention Oturu demands underneath.

Williams finished a fast break with a dunk after he stole the ball from Pete Nance, giving the Gophers a game-high 57-34 lead with 9:45 to go. Kopp made three straight 3-pointers to give the Wildcats some life. They were 0 for 5 from behind the arc until that run. But the Gophers righted themselves after a scolding from Pitino at the timeout. Demir hustled for a rebound from under the basket and fed Oturu for a dunk and a three-point play with 6:02 left that pushed the lead back to 14 points. Oturu has been a frequent target of Pitino's criticism, despite his stature as the best player on the team.

"He's always pushing me to play the best I can play," Oturu said. "Just with somebody like him always in my ear, `You can do more. You can do more,' I really appreciate that because it gives you more confidence."

Said Collins: "I thought we did a pretty good job, and he still gets 19 and 16. That kind of shows you what a player he is."

STREAK STOPPER

This was the first time Northwestern lost at Minnesota in seven seasons under Collins, winning previously at Williams Arena in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. Gaines, though, was the only player on the current roster who took part in any of those.

BIG PICTURE

Northwestern: The lowest-scoring team in the Big Ten suffered a big blow with the revelation this week that Gaines, the junior guard who missed his third straight game, needs surgery on his shoulder. He will be out for the remainder of the season. Buie and Turner both have unspecified lower-body injuries, with Buie out indefinitely.

"Hopefully, we'll get Turner back sooner rather than later, but this is kind of going to be the group we're going to have for the time being," Collins said.

Minnesota: Getting shooting guard Payton Willis back from an ankle injury that kept him out of the previous three games was a big lift. With Williams staying in the starting lineup, Willis came off the bench with a quiet seven points in 21 minutes, but the depth his presence was provided was more than welcomed. The Gophers were gassed down the stretch against Purdue three days ago, which didn't help their attempt to pull out a victory in the clutch. Carr and Gabe Kalscheur played 48 minutes in that game, and Williams played 46 minutes.

UP NEXT

Northwestern: Play at Indiana on Wednesday. The Hoosiers have lost their last two games.

Minnesota: Play at No. 14 Michigan State on Thursday. The Spartans beat No. 12 Michigan 87-69 on Sunday.

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More AP college basketball coverage: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Leaders

Northwestern PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
J. Coleman-Jones 0 0 0 0 0 0
P. Spencer 22 0 8 4 2 0
Minnesota PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
M. Hurt 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Oturu 19 0 3 16 0 5

Team Comparison

NW Minn
Points For 68 77
Field Goals 26/59-44% 25/61-41%
Three Pointers 5/13-38% 8/29-28%
Free Throws 11/14-79% 19/19-100%
Offensive Rebounds 7 15
Defensive Rebounds 21 28
Rebounds 31 45
Blocks 1 8
Steals 5 5
Turnovers 8 11
Personal Fouls 15 14
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - Minn Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Sun Jan 5 NW 68 @ Minn 77 R. Greer 5 I. Ihnen 3

Game Information

Stadium: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attendance: 9,574
Game Time: