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11/13 Big Ten Recap: Minnesota makes an early statement, Michigan survives early scare

Minnesota kicks off the Gavitt Tipoff Games with a win at Providence

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night was a good one for the Big Ten. Not only did the league go 4-0 on the night, but Minnesota scored a huge road win over Providence. It’s one that will help legitimate the Gophers and the entire league.

Let’s take a look at what went down.

Game Of The Night:

-No. 14 Minnesota Golden Gophers 86, Providence Friars 74

Minnesota (2-0) made a loud statement to the rest of the Big Ten and to college basketball that they are for real with 12-point victory at Providence on Monday night.

The Gophers finished with four players in double figures. Jordan Murphy had a dominant performance, as he led the way for Minnesota with 23 points and 14 rebounds, with 15 of them coming in a tightly played second half. Nate Mason added in 17 points and Amir Coffey scored 15 as well.

On the other side, Providence star Kyron Cartwright was held to just 12 points on the evening. That number ended up leading the Friars.

The key portion of the game came with 12 minutes remaining in the game, Minnesota trailed by 55-52. They used a 6-0 run to retake the lead and would not relinquish it for the remainder of the contest. The Friars would get within three points at 63-60 with 7:00 remaining but Minnesota used a 9-3 to regain some distance and put away Providence for good.

Minnesota will be back in action Wednesday night as they host Niagara. Providence (1-1) will travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the Washington Huskies Thursday night in the 2K Classic.

The Rest:

-Michigan Wolverines 72, Central Michigan Chippewas 65

For the second time already this season, Michigan struggled offensively and allowed an undermatched opponent to hang around for quite some time. The Wolverines were tested by the Chippewas on Monday night. Michigan ended up shooting below 30 percent from behind the arc in their seven-point win.

Michigan got big performances from Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who scored a team-high 17 points, and Moe Wagner, who recorded his second consecutive double-double to begin the season with 10 points and 11 boards.

Shawn Roundtree had a stellar knight for Central Michigan (1-1) and was a main cog in keeping the Chippewas in the game. He led his team with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

Michigan led by just one at halftime at 32-31. Central Michigan was able to climb back from an eight point deficit in the early moments of the second half to lead 47-46. Michigan retook the lead with 10 minutes remaining in the game and never trailed again.

Michigan will return to the court Thursday night when they host Southern Mississippi at the Crisler Center. Central Michigan will host Eureka in their home opener on Saturday Nov 18.

-Nebraska Cornhuskers 86, North Texas Mean Green 57

Nebraska improved to 2-0 on the season after beating North Texas Monday night in dominating fashion. James Palmer led Nebraska with 18 points. Glynn Watson scored 15, and Isaiah Roby added 11 points and seven rebounds. Evan Taylor and Jack McVeigh also scored in double figures for the Cornhuskers.

Nebraska got off to a tremendous start, opening the game on a 25-2 run. Nebraska’s first half defense was superb, as they blocked seven shots and didn't allow North Texas to reach double figures in scoring until there were five minutes remaining in the first half.

The Mean Green got as close as 17 points to Nebraska before the Cornuskers closed the game out.

Nebraska travels to take on St. Johns on Thursday. North Texas (1-1) will return home to take on Bethune-Cookman on Thursday.

-No. 20 Northwestern Wildcats 75, Saint Peter’s Peacocks 66

Once again, Northwestern got pushed by a weaker opponent on Monday night in a close one against Saint Peter's. Bryant McIntosh and Gavin Skelly led the Wildcats Monday night with 17 points (a team high) and 14 points, respectively. Vic Law, Scottie Lindsey, and Derek Pardon all scored in double figures for Northwestern as well.

The Wildcats led 32-25 at the break. Northwestern was eventually able to extend the team’s lead to 15 early in the second half before Saint Peter’s battled back and got within 10 points with eight minutes remaining. The Wildcats did not do themselves any favors by committing 17 turnovers in the game.

Northwestern (2-0) returns to action Wednesday night when they host Creighton at the Allstate Arena. Saint Peters (0-2) will play their next game on Saturday when they host Sacred Heart for their home opener.