Feb. 01, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Maurice Walker led the team with 14 points as Minnesota dropped a 55-54 nail-biter to Northwestern on Saturday afternoon.
The Gophers (15-7, 4-5) had the ball at the end, but DeAndre Mathieu's layup was short and Mo Walker's putback was off, too, before the final buzzer went off. Austin Hollins had 13 points, six rebounds and three steals, but the Gophers went 3 for 14 from 3-point range, 5 for 9 from the free-throw line and missed multiple short shots down the stretch.
Hollins gave the Gophers a big lift in the second half. His 3-pointer from the corner tied the game at 40, after they missed nine of their first 10 behind-the-arc attempts, and his dunk made it 50-all.
Tre Demps swished a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 55 seconds left, but Mathieu answered with a layup to pull Minnesota within one point. Demps airballed a jump shot on the next possession, setting the Gophers up for the win. But they fell for the second straight game, coming off an 82-78 loss at Nebraska last Sunday.
The Gophers used an 18-4 run to get right back in the game, though, and Walker was their go-to guy in the post again. They had a 36-14 advantage in points in the paint, despite the key misses from close range in the second half.
But Minnesota was certainly feeling the absence of leading scorer Andre Hollins again. Their junior shooting guard sat out for essentially the third straight game, and after dominating Wisconsin here without him they had trouble defending the perimeter at Nebraska and with creating their own shots against Northwestern.
Drew Crawford scored 17 points and JerShon Cobb pitched in 15 points to help Northwestern win its third game in a row.
Demps had 11 points for the Wildcats (12-11, 5-5 Big Ten), who moved into fourth place in the conference with their fifth victory in their last seven games.
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Amir Coffey had 17 points to lead Minnesota, while Dupree McBrayer added 16.