MINNEAPOLIS For 20 minutes, Sunday's game between Minnesota and Northwestern was played at a snail's pace.
Neither team shot particularly well, and neither pushed the ball much in transition. When Northwestern had the ball on offense, the Wildcats ran the shot clock down to just a few seconds left before taking a shot. And while the Gophers out-rebounded the Wildcats by a wide margin, Minnesota only led by three at the half. The halftime score: 17-14.
Yes, you read that right. It was a halftime score you'd expect to see at TCF Bank Stadium across the street, not at Williams Arena.
Yet while the Gophers were frustrated with the pace of play in the first half, they didn't let it carry over after halftime. Thanks to a 52-point second half, Minnesota ran away from Northwestern, winning by a 69-51 final to improve to 2-0 in Big Ten play.
"Our kids stayed focused, stayed poised. There's going to be games like this," said Gophers coach Tubby Smith. "That's what I told them at halftime...