Tollackson, 3-point shooting pace Minnesota
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP)—Spencer Tollackson shot 7-for-7 to score 19 points and Minnesota made 12 3-pointers Wednesday night to rout Northwestern 92-72 and keep the Wildcats winless in the Big Ten.
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Tollackson was too strong for Northwestern on the inside and perimeter shooters like Jamal Abu-Shamala, Blake Hoffarber and Lawrence McKenzie found the range from the outside for the Gophers (14-7, 4-5). Abu-Shamala and McKenzie had 16 points each and Hoffarber 15.
Kevin Coble led Northwestern (7-13, 0-9) with 22 points while Michael Thompson and Craig Moore added 19 each.
The Golden Gophers broke open a close game with a late 13-2 run closing the first half. Abu-Shamala hit a pair of 3-pointers and added two free throws. Hoffarber’s 3-pointer with three seconds to go in the half put Minnesota up 47-33.
The burly Tollackson had 13 first-half points, bullying his way through the NU defense for followups and offensive rebounds. Minnesota had a whopping 22-5 rebounding advantage in the first half and finished with a 38-17 edge on the boards.
Lawrence Westbrook’s 3-pointer and two more baskets inside by Tollackson pushed the lead to 20 just four minutes into the second half, and Minnesota made it 60-39 on another 3-ponter by Hoffarber.
Northwestern’s defense helped get the Wildcats back in the game. Three Minnesota turnovers helped Northwestern go on an 8-0 run and chop the margin to 13.
But Tollackson scored and McKenzie hit a 3-pointer and the lead was back to 18, the rally over as quickly as it started.
The Gophers beat Northwestern by 19 early last month.