Limping Gophers Lose to Illinois
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Finke scored 17 points and made five 3-pointers to lead No. 12 seed Illinois past 13th-seeded Minnesota 85-52 on Wednesday in the Big Ten tournament's opening round.
The Fighting Illini (14-18) play No. 5 seed and 20th-ranked Iowa on Thursday in second-round action.
Kendrick Nunn added 15 points for Illinois while Malcolm Hill had 14 and Jalen Coleman-Lands 13. The Fighting Illini made 32 of 58 field-goal attempts (55 percent), including 14 of 26 from 3-point range (54 percent). Nunn, Hill and Coleman-Lands were a collective 15 of 26 from the field.
Illinois outrebounded Minnesota 35-26 and forced 15 Golden Gopher turnovers. Minnesota shot 39.2 percent (20 of 51) in dropping a fourth consecutive game to end the season.
Minnesota (8-23), which finished with a school record for single-season losses, got 12 points from Charles Buggs and 11 by Ahmad Gilbert.