MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Falzon tied his career-high with 20 points and Tre Demps added 13 as Northwestern defeated Minnesota, 77-52, on Saturday.
Joey van Zegeren added 11 points and Bryant McIntosh had 10 assists for the Wildcats (14-3, 2-2 in the Big Ten), who posted their biggest victory ever at Minnesota’s Williams Arena.READ MORE: Private Insurance Now Covers At-Home COVID-19 Testing
Nate Mason scored 13 points and Bakary Konate added 12 for the Gophers (6-10, 0-4), who have lost eight of their last nine games overall.
Falzon, a freshman forward, was 6 for 9 from the 3-point line. He hit two of them early in the second half as Northwestern quickly expanded a six-point halftime cushion and blew the game open.
The Gophers have been plagued by poor 3-point defense, and it came back to bite them again early. Falzon knocked down four 3-pointers in the game’s first 11 minutes, keying a 15-2 run that put Northwestern on top 20-11.
Minnesota entered the game ranked 296th in the nation in 3-point defense, allowing opponents to make 37.3 percent from beyond the arc. Northwestern hit 5 of 14 3-pointers in the first half and finished the game 11-for-25 (44 percent).
The final statistics were as lopsided as the score. Northwestern shot 56 percent from the floor compared to just 39 for the Gophers, and the Wildcats won the rebounding battle 33-17.
Konate kept Minnesota in the game in the first half. The 6-foot-11 sophomore scored eight points on three dunks and a pair of free throws as the Gophers trailed just 32-26 at the break.READ MORE: Woman Struck and Killed While Entering Vehicle In West Garfield Park
Minnesota: The Gophers have started consecutive seasons 0-4 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1929-30. Last year they lost their first five conference games and finished 6-12 in the Big Ten.
Northwestern: The Wildcats scored nine-straight points on dunks by van Zegeren. He closed the first half with back-to-back slams and drew a foul on one. He hit the free throw, then opened the second half with dunks on consecutive possessions. . Northwestern’s largest margin of victory at Minnesota had been 22 points, in a 45-23 win in 1931.
Minnesota visits Nebraska on Tuesday.
Northwestern hosts Wisconsin on Tuesday.MORE NEWS: Crime Stoppers Offers $1,000 Reward For Information In Hit And Run In Austin
(© 2016 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)