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Big second half leads Northwestern to upset of Minnesota

Jan 18, 2009 - 10:22 PM EVANSTON, Illinois (Ticker) -- Craig Moore scored 22 points and Kevin Coble had 20 as Northwestern used a big second half Sunday to end its struggles in the Big Ten, knocking off No. 17 Minnesota, 74-65.

Going on a 20-2 run after halftime, the Wildcats (9-6, 1-4 Big Ten) snapped a seven-game losing streak in league games. Since the start of 2007-08, Northwestern has gone 2-21 in the Big Ten.

The Wildcats also defeated their first ranked foe since beating Iowa on February 8, 2006.

Moore and Coble both scored 11 points after halftime, as Northwestern charged out to a 51-39 advantage with 9:23 remaining.

Moore connected on three 3-pointers during the burst, including one that ignited the run, cutting the Wildcats' deficit to 37-34 with 16:59 left.

After missing 12 of its first 13 shots of the second half, Minnesota (16-2, 4-2) closed within 59-50 on a jumper by Al Nolen with 3:19 remaining.

However, the Wildcats did not collapse like they did when they squandered a 14-point deficit in the second half of Thursday's 63-61 loss to Purdue, responding with an 8-3 run.

A senior, Moore finished 6-of-9 from the arc as he surpassed 20 points for the first time in nine games.

Coble went a perfect 9-of-9 on free throws for Northwestern, which finished 21-of-27 from the stripe. It went 13-of-20 on free throws in the loss to Purdue.

Lawrence Westbrook scored 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Golden Gophers, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Damian Johnson chipped in 14 points for Minnesota, which shot 34.5 percent (10-of-29) in the second half as its failed to follow up on its big 78-74 win at Wisconsin on Thursday.