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    Hot-Shooting Second Half Too Much For Northwestern in 62-55 Defeat

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Vince Scott had a game-high nine rebounds tonight against the Gophers.
    Vince Scott had a game-high nine rebounds tonight against the Gophers.

    Jan. 31, 2007

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Kevin Coble and Tim Doyle combined for 30 points, but it wasn't enough as Minnesota's hot-shooting second half proved too much for the Wildcats in the 62-55 loss tonight at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    The Gophers hit 8-of-16 from three in the second half, led by Jamal Abu-Shamala and Lawrence McKenzie who hit three apiece in the period. Abu-Shamala scored 19 points and Dan Coleman added 17. McKenzie added 11 points and five assists.

    Trailing by three early in the second half, Northwestern went on a 9-2 run, highlighted by a layup and a deep 3-pointer by Coble. A couple more three's by Craig Moore and Coble kept the Wildcats in the game before a Jonathan Williams dunk sparked a 13-4 Minnesota run to give the Gophers a nine-point lead.

    Both teams shot better than 50 percent in a run-and-gun second half. Minnesota hit 14-of-26 shots in the half (53.8 percent) while Northwestern hit 13-of-25 (52 percent). Both teams were efficient from long-range as well as the 'Cats went 5-for-11. Both teams shot an identical 47.9 percent for the game.

    Coble, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 12 points per game coming in, scored just two in the first half but quickly caught fire. He hit all three of his 3-point attempts as Northwestern traded leads with the Gophers. Coble hit 6-of-7 shots overall. Doyle added seven assists and two steals.

    Minnesota led 23-22 at the half behind 11 points from Coleman. Northwestern had a few leads in the second half and were up 34-30 on a Coble layup early in the half. The score was tied 10 times and featured nine lead changes.

    Jeff Ryan's layup for Northwestern tied the game at 46-46 with 6:30 to go, but Williams' dunk gave the lead back to Minnesota for good. Abu-Shamala scored on a putback, which Coble matched on an inside basket. Abu-Shamala then hit a 3, followed by a Doyle basket. Coleman hit a three and after Sterling Williams missed a pair of free throws for Northwestern, McKenzie hit a 3 to put the Gophers up nine, 59-50.



    Ryan finished with seven points while Moore had two three's for six points. Vince Scott finished with a game-high nine rebounds as the Wildcats won the battle on the boards 30-25.

    Northwestern next travels to Wisconsin this Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m. CT.

    (The Associated Press contributed to this story)