Rapid Recap: Northwestern 75, Minnesota 62


Gabe Bider/The Daily Northwestern

Ryan Greer dribbles the basketball. Greer had four points in Northwestern’s 75-62 win over Minnesota.

Patrick Andres, Sports Editor

Northwestern’s up-and-down 2022 regular season met its end Sunday evening in Evanston, as the Wildcats hosted Minnesota on Senior Night looking to avenge a blowout loss two weeks prior.

NU (14-15, 7-13) started fast, jumping out to leads of 29-9 and 41-20, and held off the Golden Gophers (13-16, 4-16) to wrap up a 75-62 win.

After honoring its three seniors pregame – forward Pete Nance, guard Ryan Greer and forward Elyjah Williams – NU got all three involved early. Nance won the opening tip, which Williams caught and passed to Greer. The Cats took a 2-0 lead on a Nance bucket and exploded to a 12-3 lead at the under-16 behind four Greer points and junior forward Robbie Beran’s three.

Gradually, Beran personally took control of the first half. He sank three threes in a short timeframe to give NU a 27-9 advantage at the under-12. The Cats embarked on a 13-2 run, inverting Minnesota’s hot start from its win on February 19. A Nance jumper extended NU’s lead to 20 shortly before the midpoint of the first half, and the Cats led 46-26 at the intermission.

Forward Jamison Battle’s three-pointer gave the Golden Gophers the first points of the second half, but Beran responded with an and-one. NU remained a step ahead of Minnesota, maintaining a big lead for a time despite Minnesota opening the second half with five made field goals in 10 attempts. The Golden Gophers struck with an 8-0 run to move within 11 and force coach Chris Collins to call timeout.

Williams connected on a three-pointer out of the timeout to put the Cats up 57-43 at the under-12. The teams gradually sputtered, with NU embarking on a 3:36 scoring drought into the under-eight, but the Cats stole the momentum back with one of Nance’s trademark midrange jumpers. Later in the half, the Ohio native became the 38th NU player to reach 1,000 career points.

It was hardly a pretty second half, as Minnesota outscored the Cats 36-29 in the final 20 minutes. But it was enough to get NU the win in its regular season finale.


  • Seniors make their mark

Nance, Greer and Williams took disparate paths to Senior Night – Nance has been a fixture in the starting lineup, Greer a bench contributor, and Williams a graduate transfer who came home to Evanston after four years at Fairleigh Dickinson. All three, however, had a role to play in Northwestern’s success. Nance tallied 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Greer added four points and five rebounds. Williams chipped in three points in eight minutes.

  • Living well is the best revenge

The Wildcats’ loss to Minnesota in February came as a surprise, as the Golden Gophers were down a critical piece in guard Payton Willis. NU, however, regrouped to defeat Minnesota and end its two-game losing skid. It used a similar recipe to the Golden Gophers that day, getting off to a hot shooting start and coasting to the finish.

  • It’s tourney time!

The Cats entered the game destined to play in the First Round of the Big Ten Tournament. Now, they know their opponent: Nebraska. NU will get a shot at a team it beat twice in the regular season and should have a legitimate chance to advance despite the Cornhuskers’ recent hot streak.

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Twitter: @pandres2001