Read my full game story on Minnesota’s 77-66 loss vs. Northwestern here.
Three quick observations after the Gophers suffered their second straight home loss to the Wildcats.
That three-ball thing is a thing. The Gophers have now allowed 33 three-pointers in the last two games en route to a two-game losing streak. Put another way, Minnesota (16-11; 5-9 in the Big Ten) has allowed its most three balls and its second-most three balls in history in consecutive games. Sunday it was mostly the zone to blame. Tonight, the Gophers were in man-to-man for almost all of it, but it didn’t matter a bit. This problem isn’t going away either, with Wisconsin (twice) and Michigan State coming up in the next two weeks.
Unfortunate time for an Andre off-night. So, he finished with 12 points and six assists and on the face of it, that doesn’t look half bad. But most of his points came after the Gophers had nearly ceased to be relevant – after going down ten in the second half, Minnesota never really bounced back and a Nate Mason layup at the buzzer was the only thing that kept this loss in the two-possession rule (they’ve now lost seven conference battles like that). Hollins has been playing out of his mind in the last eight games, averaging 21 points during that time, so it’s hard to blame him for a lackluster (and scoreless in the first half) performance. But in case there was any doubt, Hollins is needed.
Northwestern (12-14; 3-10) is building young talent. Alex Olah and Tre Demps each had strong nights, but the game was sealed by freshman. Three – Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey and Nathan Taphorn – combined for 38 points and nine three-pointers, hinting that just maybe the Wildcats have something brewing in Evanston. It’s easy to look good, of course, when 15 three-pointers fall, coach Chris Collins joked, but on the heels of an overtime win vs. Iowa, this was a big one for Northwestern, team with plenty of athleticism and decent size. The amazing thing is that the seniors aren’t even involved. No one who scored a single point for Northwestern tonight will be gone next season.