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6 P.M. VS. NORTHWESTERN • WILLIAMS ARENA • BTN, 1500-AM

Preview: Northwestern at Gophers

  • January 6, 2013 - 9:48 AM

Gophers at a glance: Minnesota started out the Big Ten season with a strong home victory over Michigan State after going on a 12-0 run to finish a game that had been tight throughout. Against their first conference competition, the Gophers showed impressive toughness, both physically (battling Spartan bigs in the paint) and mentally (overcoming a second-half Michigan State lead). The Gophers' starting lineup had one of its most productive outings of the year, getting increased minutes with a shorter bench used and accounting for 89 percent of Minnesota's scoring. Still, the Gophers turned over the ball 16 times, an issue that has been consistently troublesome.

Northwestern at a glance: The Wildcats were a bit embarrassed in their first conference game, losing to No. 2 Michigan by nearly 30 points. The season hasn't panned out the way Northwestern wanted, with leader Drew Crawford out for the year because of a dislocated elbow and JerShon Cobb gone until next year because of a suspension. But all signs point to the Wildcats not being quite as bad as they were in the opener. Northwestern beat Illinois State and won at Baylor -- with Crawford in the lineup. Reggie Hearn leads the team with 14.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a game, but he has missed consecutive games because of an ankle sprain.

AMELIA RAYNO

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