EVANSTON, Ill. - Pete Nance had 19 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, Robbie Beran scored 13 points and Northwestern trailed for just 22 seconds in it 75-62 win over Minnesota on Sunday night in the regular season finale for both teams.
Boo Buie had 10 points and eight assists for Northwestern (14-15, 7-13 Big Ten).
Nance had 13 points, Beran and Ryan Young scored nine apiece, and Buie added six points, six assists and two steals as Northwestern took a 46-26 lead into halftime. Nance and Beran each went 3 of 3 from 3-point range.
Jamison Battle led Minnesota (13-16, 4-16) with 20 points. Payton Willis added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Willis and Battle scored six points apiece in a 14-5 spurt to pull the Golden Gophers within 11 midway through the second half before Willis, Luke Loewe and Sutherlin each hit a 3-pointer in a 98-second span to make it 63-55 with 4:14 to go. Minnesota missed its next four field goal attempts before the Wildcats made 8 of 10 from the free-throw line in the last 2 minutes to seal it.
The Golden Gophers have lost four in a row and six of its last seven to fall into a last-place tie with Nebraska in the Big Ten. The Cornhuskers lost their first 12 conference games before beating Minnesota 78-65 on Feb. 9 in the lone meeting between the teams but Nebraska has won three in a row — all on the road and the last two over ranked opponents.
Nance — the son of three-time NBA All-Star Larry Nance, who was in attendance for Senior Night — scored his 1,000th career point on a layup with 2 minutes left. Buie came up with a loose ball and drove to the left block where he dropped a slick pass across the lane to Nance for a left-hand finish that made it 67-55.
Northwestern earned the No. 12 seed in the Big Ten tournament and plays 13th-seeded Nebraska in one of Wednesday’s two-game first round. No. 14 seed Minnesota plays 11th-seeded Penn State in the other.