EVANSTON, Ill. — Jamison Battle poured in 20 points and Payton Willis had 16 but it wasn't enough for Minnesota as they lost on the road at Northwestern to end their regular season.
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.
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.