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Gophers lose ugly at Northwestern, 55-48

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The times and rosters change, but the result of Gophers-Northwestern games in Evanston Illinois remain the same.

For the fifth straight year the Gophers were defeated at Northwestern. This time by a score of 55-48.

2011: Northwestern 63, Gophers 53

2010: Northwestern 68, Gophers 57

2009: Northwestern 77, Gophers 74 OT

2008: Northwestern 74, Gophers 65

It's Minnesota's third straight conference loss. At 3-3 in Big Ten play, they are now two-and-a-half games behind conference leader Michigan State (6-1).

Northwestern trailed 27-24 at the half, but slowed Minnesota's offense by switching between a 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones on defense in the second half. They held the Gophers to 21 points over the final 20 minutes of the game.

Trevor Mbakwe had a big game, finishing with 14 points, 16 rebounds and a collision with the hardwood that left fans worrying he had suffered another major injury. He layed on the ground for about 30 seconds before rising to his feet and walking to the bench on his own power.

The ugly stat of the night came at the free throw line. Minnesota was 7-17 from the stripe -- a dismal 41.2 %. They missed 9 free throws in the second half in a loss to Michigan last week.

Even worse was Gophers guard Austin Hollins fouling out with more than 11-minutes left in the game.

It doesn't get any easier for Minnesota. They play at Wisconsin on Saturday.

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