EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Jamal Abu-Shamala scored 19 points and Dan Coleman added 17 to lead Minnesota to a 62-55 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
Abu-Shamala went 5-of-8 from 3-point range and hit 7-of-11 shots overall. He hit the first of three consecutive 3-point attempts for the Gophers as they turned a two-point edge to a 59-50 lead with 1:25 to play.Both teams shot better than 50 percent in a run-and-gun second half, a rarity for the slow-down Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena. 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. Minnesota went 8-for-16 from 3-point range in the second half, while Northwestern went 5-for-11. Northwestern and Minnesota shot identical an 47.9 percent for the game.Lawrence McKenzie added 11 points -- including three second-half 3s -- and five assists for Minnesota (9-13, 3-5), which won its second in a row after losing five straight. Northwestern (11-10, 1-7) defeated Minnesota on the road Jan. 20 for its only win since Big Ten play started and had won six straight in this series.Kevin Coble and Tim Doyle each scored 15 points to lead Northwestern, which was trying to overtake the Gophers for ninth place in the Big Ten. Doyle added seven assists and two steals.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.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.Jeff Ryan's layup for Northwestern tied the game at 46-46 with 6:30 to go but a Jonathan 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 3 and after Sterling Williams missed a pair of free throws for Northwestern, McKenzie hit a 3 to put the Gophers up nine.Abu-Shamala, scoring 5.6 points a game, hit his first five 3-point attempts. He came in hitting 39.3 percent on 3s.