Wednesday night is the night of the court stormers, but the fans at Northwestern, even after watching their team beat No. 12 Minnesota, 55-48, remained in the stands to take in the victory.
Court storm or not, it marks another solid Big Ten win over a ranked opponent and a disappointing in-conference loss for the Gophers.
Northwestern’s zone disrupted Minnesota all night, holding coach Tubby Smith’s team to 33 percent shooting, including 5-of-19 from three-point range. That, added to 15 Minnesota turnovers, sunk the Gophers on Wednesday.
Minnesota held a massive 42-23 advantage on the backboards, including grabbing 17 offensive rebounds.
Guard Austin Hollins played just 19 minutes on Wednesday before fouling out. He picked up his fourth foul with 12:01 to play, but Smith let him remain in the game. Just 14 seconds later, he picked up his fifth.
At the time that he fouled out, Minnesota held the lead by one point, 37-36.
Trevor Mbakwe was the biggest bright spot for Minnesota on Wednesday, scoring 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbing 16 rebounds. Perhaps the biggest question is why he, working so well against the Northwestern defense, did not get more touches. Credit likely goes to the Wildcats’ defense.