MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Vince Scott led Northwestern with 15 points as the Wildcats snapped their five-game losing streak with a 55-40 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.
The Wildcats (11-8, 1-5 Big Ten), who have won six straight against Minnesota since 2003, sent the Gophers to their fourth straight defeat en route to winning their first Big Ten game of the season.Kevin Coble added 13 points off the bench in his first action since missing Northwestern's previous two games with a sprained ankle.The game was a matchup of the Big Ten's two worst offenses, but Northwestern used its defense to frustrate the Gophers, forcing Minnesota (7-12, 1-4) into a season-worst 33 percent shooting. Minnesota went 17-for-51 from the field, including 3 of 19 from 3-point range.Jeff Ryan had four of Northwestern's six steals.The Wildcats showed patience on offense with good ball movement, which led to several easy layups against Minnesota's zone defense. Northwestern scored 30 points in the paint to Minnesota's 18.Northwestern led by as many as 18 points and never trailed.Dan Coleman pulled Minnesota to 38-28 at 14:15 of the second half with his only 3-pointer of the game. But Northwestern responded with six unanswered -- including back-to-back threes by Scott and Coble -- to give the Wildcats a 46-28 lead with 8:49 to play. Minnesota, which had two scoreless six-minute stretches during the game, never came closer than 14 points the rest of the way.Lawrence McKenzie led Minnesota with 15 points and Coleman added 13. Minnesota's bench had only two points.The Wildcats had five first-half steals and had two blocked shots to help limit Minnesota to 20 points on 35 percent shooting (8-for-23) in the first 20 minutes. Northwestern led 29-20 at halftime.