Minnesota 72, Northwestern 45

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.

John Shurna and Jeremy Nash each scored nine points to lead Northwestern. Devron Bostick came off of the bench to add nine points for Minnesota.