The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The Minnesota Golden Gophers pick up essential win against Northwestern Wildcats

Anna Nemanich
The view from my season ticket seats.

On February 3rd, the Minnesota Golden Gophers tipped off a basketball game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Willams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota. This was the teams’ first meeting for the 2023-2024 mens’ basketball season. The game was a must-win for the Golden Gophers as they were just 5-4 in Big 10 conference play.

The game started with an early lead from the Wildcats leading 14-8 before the first timeout. After the timeout, the Gophers seemed to have more energy as they came back and recaptured the lead with a 7-0 scoring run. Northwestern quickly stormed back to reclaim their lead by double digits this time. The lead quickly evaporated as the Gophers went on another scoring run. With the clock ticking down to halftime Minnesota guard Elijah Hawkins drilled a 3 on the buzzer. The “barn” erupted as the Gophers went to the locker room for halftime all tied up at 27-27. 

It feels good to have our guys be rewarded…Our guys, even in losses when we have played well, I think we have found ways to keep believing.

— Head Coach Ben Johnson

Northwestern came back from halftime ready to take down the Gophers when their star player “Boo” Bouie started the half off with a three. The game would be back and forth but ultimately led to a tie of 63-63 and forced the game into overtime. In overtime, Dawson Garcia from Minnesota drilled a 3-pointer to give Minnesota the lead to help the Gophers win the game. Garcia’s free throws were also an essential part of the Gophers win in overtime. Dawson was 9/11 at the line. To seal the win Pharell Payne had a slam dunk that made the “barn” erupt. The final score of the game was 75-66 Minnesota with the win. This was a promising win for Gopher fans as this proved to be a vital game for the season.

Sophomore forward Joshua Ola-Joseph shoots for 2 with the lead on the line. (Anna Nemanich)

 Northwestern’s record now stands at 15-7 and Minnesota’s at 14-7. Minnesota will take on the Michigan State Spartans back at home this Tuesday, February 6th at 8:00 pm.

Quick Stats: 

  • All five starters for the Gophers scored double-digit points.
  • Northwestern had a field goal percentage for the game was 38.2% while the Gophers had a field goal percentage of 46.4%.
  • Minnesota was just 30.4% for 3-point shots. Northwestern had a 3-point shot percentage of 47.8%.
  • Northwestern was called for 22 personal fouls. Minnesota was called for 19 fouls.
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About the Contributor
Anna Nemanich, Journalist
Grade: Senior Car Name: Cheryl the Honda CRV Favorite Food: Chipotle Favorite Drink: Iced chai, vanilla sweet cream cold foam, and light ice from Starbucks Favorite Season: Fall