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Hoffarber leads No. 16 Minnesota over Northwestern

Jan 27, 2011 - 7:00 AM Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Blake Hoffarber posted 20 points as No. 16 Minnesota downed Northwestern, 81-70, at Williams Arena.

Trevor Mbakwe added 18 points with a game-best 14 rebounds for the Gophers (16-4, 5-3 Big Ten), who won their fourth straight contest.

"We beat a good Northwestern team," said Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith. "They had some foul trouble. I think we did a good job, especially on our front line. Ralph (Sampson), Trevor (Mbakwe), and Colton (Iverson) were outstanding, especially getting the ball inside and finishing."

Michael Thompson poured in 18 points and seven assists for the Wildcats (13-7, 3-6), who have dropped two in a row. John Shurna had 16 points with eight boards and Drew Crawford scored 15 in defeat.

Minnesota led by as many as 13 points in the first half, at 27-14 on an Austin Hollins bucket, but Northwestern clawed back to take a 34-33 edge at the break.

The Gophers turned around and seized control early in the second half, taking a 53-42 edge a little more than 6 1/2 minutes in after Mbakwe hit 1-of-2 from the line.

The Wildcats closed within 53-48 on a Crawford trey with 11:32 to go, but the home team ripped off a 17-10 burst to move ahead by a 70-58 count with 4:46 remaining and coasted the rest of the way.

"We got off to such a bad start and they got off to such a good start and we just weren't able to stop them," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody.

Game Notes

Minnesota's win was aided by making 31 foul shots...The Wildcats drained 12- of-39 shots from long distance and held the Gophers to 2-of-11 from long range...Hollins ended with 10 points and two steals.