Gophers Catch Fire to Pull Away from Northwestern; Turn to Iowa for Round 2 in Empty Arena

Photo: @GopherMBB - Twitter

On fire was an understatement, when talking about the Gophers 2nd half this evening, vs the Northwestern Wildcats. It was the tip-off game to the B1G Tournament and after a slow start, Kalscheur, Willis, Carr and even Dan Oturu caught fire from behind the arc.

That definitely wasn’t how the game started, though. The Maroon and Gold built a first half lead that rose as high as 8 points but they didn’t look very good. It took over 5 minutes of game clock for Minnesota to reach 4 points and we actually trailed by a 2-spot, entering halftime.

Then, the Gophers caught fire and it was Nebraska all over again. They hit 3 after 3 after 3, just burying Northwestern’s 2020, along with any confidence they might have had for next season. Overall, the Gophers only shot 40% from the field… however, they hit 12 of 24 from the three-point line and that kind of accuracy from the arc, will usually bury an opponent.

It was an absolutely dominating performance in that second half. The Gophers outscored the Wildcats, 45-26 and showed how good they are when hitting shots… just like I’ve said all season.

Now, they turn to Iowa for tomorrow’s game…. which will be played in front of an empty Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. I am quite interested on how that will go down, just like much of the country.

Obviously, it’s something we will be getting used to, as fans. How will it affect the play on the court? We will find out tomorrow at 11 AM CT, when Rutgers and Michigan start the day. The Gophers will face Iowa in game 2, which will start at approximately 1:30 tomorrow afternoon.

Daniel Oturu also reached 1,000 career points in this game and the Gophers’ postseason dreams are still alive…. for now. I would also think this win cements the Gophers in the NIT Tournament, at worst case scenario for the end of this season.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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