Minnesota guard E.J. Stephens (20) handles the ball against Northwestern guard Chase Audige (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Minnesota guard E.J. Stephens (20) handles the ball against Northwestern guard Chase Audige (1) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Luke Loewe scored 24 points, Jamison Battle had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Minnesota cruised to a 77-60 victory over Northwestern on Saturday.

Loewe made 9 of 13 from the floor, including six 3-pointers, and had seven assists. Battle collected a fourth double-double on 8-of-13 shooting to go with a career-high five assists.

E.J. Stephens added 15 points and Sean Sutherlin 11. The pair had a combined nine assists for Minnesota (13-12, 4-12 Big Ten), which has won two of its last four since ending a five-game losing streak.

Pete Nance scored 18 points and Boo Buie 16 for Northwestern (12-13, 5-11).

Minnesota used an 11-0 run for an 19-8 advantage and had a 43-27 lead going into the break. Loewe and Stephens each made three of the Golden Gophers' eight 3-pointers in the half. Battle and Loewe had 11 points apiece and Stephens had nine.

Northwestern opened the second half on a 13-4 run to pull to 47-40 but didn't get closer. The Gophers finished with 22 assists and shot 56% (29 of 52) overall from the floor.

Minnesota was without Payton Willis due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Sixth-year senior Eric Curry played despite flu-like symptoms unrelated to COVID-19. Curry finished with three points in 25 minutes.

Minnesota faces No. 15 Wisconsin at home on Wednesday. Northwestern will look to snap a three-game skid when it hosts Nebraska on Tuesday.

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