MINNEAPOLIS -- Lawrence Westbrook made four three-pointers and scored 17 points to lead Minnesota to an easy 72-45 victory Sunday over Northwestern.
With the victory, Minnesota (20-7, 8-7 Big Ten) snapped a two-game losing streak and regained some much-needed momentum in its quest to earn a NCAA tournament invitation.
Northwestern (14-11, 5-9) struggled offensively from the start and were limited to a season-low 14 field goals. Kevin Coble and Craig Moore, who combined for 42 points in Northwestern's win over Minnesota earlier this season, were limited to five and three points respectfully.
A Minnesota team that had lost four of its past five games pulled away from the Wildcats late in the first half. The Gophers closed the first half on a 20-5 run and led 36-18 at the break.
Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.