Wildcats beat Gophers 75-65 in Big Ten

Published 1:29 am Friday, March 11, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Thompson scored a tournament-record 35 points and Drew Crawford added 15 Thursday, leading Northwestern to a 75-65 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.

Northwestern (18-12) now faces No. 1 Ohio State (29-2) in the first game of Friday’s quarterfinals.

Minnesota (17-14) has lost 10 of its last 11. The Gophers were led by Trevor Mbakwe with 19 points and Ralph Sampson III with 12.

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But it was Thompson who stole the show by breaking the tourney scoring record of 33 set by Purdue’s Brian Cardinal.

The Wildcats turned the game with a quick flurry midway through the second half. It started with Alex Marcotullio’s 3-pointer, and the 13-1 run ended when Marcotullio put in a layup to make it 55-45 with 8:57 left.

It’s the third time in 18 years Tubby Smith did not win at least one conference tournament game.

Michigan State 66, Iowa 61

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Draymond Green had 21 points and 14 rebounds to help Michigan State beat Iowa 66-61 on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament and keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

Iowa’s Matt Gatens missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game with 6 seconds remaining.

Kalin Lucas scored 11 points and Keith Appling added 10 for Michigan State, which advanced to play No. 9 Purdue (25-6) in the quarterfinals.

Michigan State (18-13) has played in the last two Final Fours and hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament since the 1996-97 season, but the seventh-seeded Spartans felt they needed to beat 10th-seeded Iowa to boost their chances of continuing that streak.

Bryce Cartwright had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Gatens had 13 points for Iowa (11-20), which was coming off a win over then-No. 6 Purdue.

Penn St. 61, Indiana 55

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Brooks finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, Talor Battle scored 13 and sixth-seeded Penn State held off Indiana 61-55 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday night.

The win may help Penn State (17-13) make its case with the NCAA’s selection committee. Four teams, including Penn State, entered the tournament with 9-9 conference records.

Indiana (12-20) was led by Christian Watford with 15 points. The Hoosiers closed the season on a nine-game losing streak and with their third straight losing season — the first time that’s happened since 1967-70.

Penn State took a 28-27 lead on Brooks’ buzzer-beating tip just before the half and followed a similar script in the second half. Brooks keyed an 11-4 run early in the second half that gave the Nittany Lions a 42-35 lead, and Andrew Jones scored four points in a 6-0 run that sealed it.