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Lynch, Murphy lead Minnesota past Northern Illinois 77-57

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) An off-court investigation and ankle injury slowed down Reggie Lynch earlier this year.

Now his coach believes the redshirt junior is one of the Big Ten's best players in the middle.

Lynch and Jordan Murphy each had a double-double and Minnesota pulled away to beat Northern Illinois 77-57 Sunday.

Lynch scored 11 of his career-high tying 18 points in the second half. His 11 rebounds were two off a career best.

Murphy had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota (10-1). Nate Mason finished with 11 points and Akeem Springs and Dupree McBrayer had 10.

''I played pretty good, but everyone all around did very well,'' Lynch said.

Accused of sexual assault in May and not allowed to practice with the team until it was announced in August he would not be charged with a crime, Lynch, who transferred from Illinois State, also missed the Nov. 25 game with an injured ankle.

''He just needs as many reps as he can, but I thought he was terrific today,'' said coach Richard Pitino. ''To me, I think he's one of the better centers in the league. . He's a game-changer for us.''

Lynch feels like he's had a groove the whole time.

''I know how to play the game,'' he said. ''My teammates are finding me and everyone is playing really well. Even if I'm in a little bit of pain on defense or trying to score I know my team has my back.''

Lynch and Murphy combined for 12 of Minnesota's first 21 second-half points as the Gophers, who led by six at the break, built a 50-38 lead. Springs, who played two seasons at Northern Illinois, had a 3-pointer and layup in that stretch.

''I thought that Lynch, he came out and it seemed like he wouldn't miss a shot in the first half. We tried to slow him down in the second half, but it just wasn't enough,'' said Northern Illinois coach Mark Montgomery.

The Huskies (4-5) lost for the fourth time in five games. They were led by Marshawn Wilson's 19 points. Dontel Highsmith had 10.

Northern Illinois has lost 14 straight games to Big Ten opponents since Dec. 14, 1999.

Minnesota finished with a 48-28 rebounding advantage and was 25-for-30 from the free-throw line after entering the game with a 67.8 percent rate.

PASSING FANCY

Minnesota finished with 17 assists on 24 baskets.

''I think our whole team is really, really willing passers,'' Pitino said. ''They're very unselfish. . They look like they're having fun together. They're constantly looking to share the ball.''

WELCOME HOME

A smattering of cheers could be heard when Northern Illinois' Wilson made a play. He went to high school about 10 miles from Williams Arena and was a finalist for the state's 2015 Mr. Basketball award. He had 13 points in his first six games before Sunday.

BIG PICTURE

Northern Illinois: The Huskies need to shoot better away from the basket. Northern Illinois had zero points outside the paint in the first half and finished with 10. The Huskies were 2-for-11 on 3-point attempts.

Minnesota: The Gophers, who struggled in a 74-68 win over the New Jersey Institute of Technology on Wednesday but beat Georgia Southern by 37 on Friday, continue to seek offensive consistency. They shot just 30 percent in the first half despite a 5-for-21 start, but 53.6 percent in the second 20 minutes.

UP NEXT

Northern Illinois: Plays its only home game in a 35-day stretch Wednesday against Olivet Nazarene. The Huskies have four road games in that span.

Minnesota: The Gophers are home Wednesday against LIU Brooklyn before a nine-day layoff for final exams.

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Time Team Play Score
20:00   Jumpball received by Minnesota  
19:39   Lost ball turnover on Reggie Lynch  
19:09 +2 Dontel Highsmith made layup 2-0
18:54   Jordan Murphy missed jump shot, blocked by Marin Maric  
18:52   Offensive rebound by Minnesota  
18:38   Offensive foul turnover on Jordan Murphy  
18:18   Personal foul on Nate Mason  
18:14   Dontel Highsmith missed jump shot  
18:12   Defensive rebound by Dupree McBrayer  
17:53 +3 Dupree McBrayer made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nate Mason 2-3
17:30   Offensive foul turnover on Jaylen Key  
17:19   Reggie Lynch missed jump shot, blocked by Marin Maric  
17:17   Defensive rebound by Jaylen Key  
17:12   Justin Thomas missed jump shot  
17:10   Defensive rebound by Dupree McBrayer  
17:06   Nate Mason missed 3-pt. jump shot  
17:04   Offensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
16:52   Amir Coffey missed 3-pt. jump shot  
16:50   Defensive rebound by Marin Maric  
16:50   Aaric Armstead missed jump shot  
16:48   Defensive rebound by Dupree McBrayer  
16:43   Personal foul on Dontel Highsmith  
16:15   Dupree McBrayer missed jump shot  
16:13   Offensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
16:09 +2 Jordan Murphy made layup 2-5
15:49   Marin Maric missed hook shot  
15:47   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
15:38 +2 Jordan Murphy made jump shot, assist by Nate Mason 2-7
15:16   Justin Thomas missed jump shot  
15:14   Offensive rebound by Jaylen Key  
15:10 +2 Jaylen Key made hook shot 4-7
14:56   Amir Coffey missed jump shot  
14:54   Defensive rebound by Jaylen Key  
14:47   Marin Maric missed jump shot  
14:45   Defensive rebound by Minnesota  
14:45   Personal foul on Jaylen Key  
14:45   Commercial timeout called  
14:20   Amir Coffey missed jump shot  
14:18   Offensive rebound by Bakary Konate  
14:14   Jordan Murphy missed jump shot  
14:12   Offensive rebound by Amir Coffey  
14:08   Amir Coffey missed layup, blocked by Marin Maric  
14:06   Defensive rebound by Marin Maric  
14:02   Austin Pauga missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:00   Offensive rebound by Northern Illinois  
13:52   Marshawn Wilson missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:50   Defensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
13:34   Akeem Springs missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:32   Defensive rebound by Laytwan Porter  
13:18 +2 Marin Maric made jump shot, assist by Marshawn Wilson 6-7
13:04   Akeem Springs missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:02   Defensive rebound by Marshawn Wilson  
12:56   Marshawn Wilson missed jump shot  
12:54   Defensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
12:36   Nate Mason missed 3-pt. jump shot  
12:34   Defensive rebound by Levi Bradley  
12:05   Bad pass turnover on Marin Maric  
12:00 +2 Amir Coffey made layup, assist by Nate Mason 6-9
11:44   Laytwan Porter missed jump shot  
11:42   Defensive rebound by Bakary Konate  
11:21   Bakary Konate missed layup  
11:19   Defensive rebound by Marin Maric  
11:10   Bad pass turnover on Marin Maric  
11:04   Nate Mason missed jump shot  
11:02   Offensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
10:56   Nate Mason missed jump shot  
10:54   Defensive rebound by Marin Maric  
10:49 +2 Levi Bradley made layup, assist by Laytwan Porter 8-9
10:22 +3 Akeem Springs made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Amir Coffey 8-12
10:06   Offensive foul on Laytwan Porter  
10:06   Offensive foul turnover on Laytwan Porter  
10:06   Commercial timeout called  
9:55   Eric Curry missed layup  
9:53   Offensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
9:53   Shooting foul on Noah McCarty  
9:53   Reggie Lynch missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:53 +1 Reggie Lynch made 2nd of 2 free throws 8-13
9:32   Noah McCarty missed hook shot  
9:30   Defensive rebound by Minnesota  
9:17   Personal foul on Noah McCarty  
9:04 +2 Dupree McBrayer made jump shot, assist by Akeem Springs 8-15
8:46   Personal foul on Michael Hurt  
8:40   Jaylen Key missed jump shot  
8:38   Offensive rebound by Aaric Armstead  
8:21 +2 Jaylen Key made jump shot 10-15
7:56   Personal foul on Justin Thomas  
7:56   Commercial timeout called  
7:43   Bad pass turnover on Dupree McBrayer  
7:37   Aaric Armstead missed jump shot  
7:35   Defensive rebound by Minnesota  
7:19   Shooting foul on Marin Maric  
7:19 +1 Eric Curry made 1st of 2 free throws 10-16
7:19   Eric Curry missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
7:19   Defensive rebound by Aaric Armstead  
6:58   Aaric Armstead missed layup  
6:56   Defensive rebound by Akeem Springs  
6:56   Personal foul on Aaric Armstead  
6:56 +1 Akeem Springs made 1st of 2 free throws 10-17
6:58 +1 Akeem Springs made 2nd of 2 free throws 10-18
6:31   Bad pass turnover on Marin Maric  
6:25   Bad pass turnover on Dupree McBrayer  
6:14   Personal foul on Jordan Murphy  
6:05 +2 Marshawn Wilson made layup, assist by Marin Maric 12-18
6:05   Shooting foul on Amir Coffey  
6:05   Marshawn Wilson missed free throw  
6:05   Defensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
5:50   Jordan Murphy missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:48   Defensive rebound by Justin Thomas  
5:33   Personal foul on Amir Coffey  
5:23 +2 Marin Maric made layup, assist by Marshawn Wilson 14-18
5:04   Shooting foul on Marin Maric  
5:04 +1 Reggie Lynch made 1st of 2 free throws 14-19
5:04 +1 Reggie Lynch made 2nd of 2 free throws 14-20
4:48 +2 Jaylen Key made jump shot, assist by Levi Bradley 16-20
4:34   Bad pass turnover on Akeem Springs  
4:30   Shooting foul on Jordan Murphy  
4:30 +1 Laytwan Porter made 1st of 2 free throws 17-20
4:30   Laytwan Porter missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
4:30   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
4:13 +2 Reggie Lynch made jump shot, assist by Eric Curry 17-22
4:04   Marshawn Wilson missed jump shot, blocked by Reggie Lynch  
4:02   Defensive rebound by Dupree McBrayer  
3:56   Reggie Lynch missed jump shot  
3:54   Defensive rebound by Laytwan Porter  
3:47   Laytwan Porter missed layup  
3:45   Defensive rebound by Eric Curry  
3:38   Bad pass turnover on Dupree McBrayer  
3:37   Commercial timeout called  
3:11   Levi Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:09   Offensive rebound by Aaric Armstead  
2:56   Levi Bradley missed jump shot  
2:54   Defensive rebound by Akeem Springs  
2:41 +2 Reggie Lynch made jump shot, assist by Dupree McBrayer 17-24
2:18 +2 Marshawn Wilson made jump shot 19-24
1:59   Lost ball turnover on Eric Curry  
1:51 +2 Marshawn Wilson made layup 21-24
1:51   Unsportsmanlike technical foul on Marshawn Wilson  
1:51 +1 Nate Mason made 1st of 2 free throws 21-25
1:51 +1 Nate Mason made 2nd of 2 free throws 21-26
1:36   Shooting foul on Aaric Armstead  
1:36 +1 Dupree McBrayer made 1st of 2 free throws 21-27
1:36   Dupree McBrayer missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
1:36   Offensive rebound by Minnesota  
1:29 +2 Nate Mason made jump shot 21-29
1:04 +2 Dontel Highsmith made layup 23-29
52.0   Nate Mason missed jump shot  
50.0   Defensive rebound by Justin Thomas  
50.0   Full timeout called  
24.0   Jaylen Key missed hook shot  
22.0   Defensive rebound by Eric Curry  
18.0   Akeem Springs missed dunk  
16.0   Offensive rebound by Nate Mason  
1.0   Nate Mason missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0.0   Offensive rebound by Minnesota  
0.0   End of period  

Time Team Play Score
19:46   Marin Maric missed layup  
19:44   Offensive rebound by Dontel Highsmith  
19:44   Shooting foul on Jordan Murphy  
19:44 +1 Dontel Highsmith made 1st of 2 free throws 24-29
19:44 +1 Dontel Highsmith made 2nd of 2 free throws 25-29
19:22   Bad pass turnover on Dupree McBrayer  
19:16 +2 Dontel Highsmith made layup 27-29
19:00 +2 Jordan Murphy made jump shot, assist by Dupree McBrayer 27-31
18:31   Dontel Highsmith missed jump shot  
18:29   Defensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
18:19   Reggie Lynch missed layup  
18:17   Offensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
18:13   Jordan Murphy missed jump shot  
18:11   Defensive rebound by Justin Thomas  
18:07 +2 Justin Thomas made layup 29-31
17:50   Dupree McBrayer missed jump shot  
17:48   Offensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
17:42 +2 Jordan Murphy made layup 29-33
17:36   Shooting foul on Reggie Lynch  
17:36   Aaric Armstead missed 1st of 2 free throws  
17:36 +1 Aaric Armstead made 2nd of 2 free throws 30-33
17:20 +2 Jordan Murphy made layup, assist by Reggie Lynch 30-35
17:04   Aaric Armstead missed jump shot  
17:02   Defensive rebound by Nate Mason  
16:53   Shooting foul on Justin Thomas  
16:53   Nate Mason missed 1st of 3 free throws  
16:53 +1 Nate Mason made 2nd of 3 free throws 30-36
16:53 +1 Nate Mason made 3rd of 3 free throws 30-37
16:30   Marshawn Wilson missed jump shot  
16:28   Offensive rebound by Marin Maric  
16:27   Personal foul on Bakary Konate  
16:22   Personal foul on Amir Coffey  
16:11   Lost ball turnover on Levi Bradley  
16:03   Lost ball turnover on Amir Coffey  
15:57 +2 Marshawn Wilson made layup, assist by Aaric Armstead 32-37
15:45 +3 Akeem Springs made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Nate Mason 32-40
15:39   Offensive foul turnover on Aaric Armstead  
15:39   Commercial timeout called  
15:11   Bad pass turnover on Amir Coffey  
15:05   Shooting foul on Nate Mason  
15:05   Justin Thomas missed 1st of 2 free throws  
15:05 +1 Justin Thomas made 2nd of 2 free throws 33-40
14:53 +2 Akeem Springs made layup 33-42
14:38 +2 Dontel Highsmith made layup 35-42
14:23   Akeem Springs missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:21   Offensive rebound by Jordan Murphy  
14:14   Amir Coffey missed 3-pt. jump shot  
14:12   Defensive rebound by Justin Thomas  
14:13   Personal foul on Bakary Konate  
13:44   Justin Thomas missed 3-pt. jump shot  
13:42   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
13:28 +2 Reggie Lynch made layup, assist by Nate Mason 35-44
13:23   Full timeout called  
12:57   Jaylen Key missed dunk  
12:55   Defensive rebound by Akeem Springs  
12:38   Shooting foul on Jaylen Key  
12:38 +1 Reggie Lynch made 1st of 2 free throws 35-45
12:38 +1 Reggie Lynch made 2nd of 2 free throws 35-46
12:30   Lost ball turnover on Dontel Highsmith  
12:16   Personal foul on Aaric Armstead  
12:10   Bad pass turnover on Akeem Springs  
12:05 +2 Marin Maric made layup, assist by Dontel Highsmith 37-46
12:05   Shooting foul on Amir Coffey  
12:05 +1 Marin Maric made free throw 38-46
11:51   Reggie Lynch missed hook shot  
11:49   Defensive rebound by Aaric Armstead  
11:47   Commercial timeout called  
11:28   Marin Maric missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Reggie Lynch  
11:26   Defensive rebound by Michael Hurt  
11:26   Personal foul on Austin Pauga  
11:13   Shooting foul on Marin Maric  
11:13 +1 Reggie Lynch made 1st of 2 free throws 38-47
11:13 +1 Reggie Lynch made 2nd of 2 free throws 38-48
10:42   Aaric Armstead missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:40   Defensive rebound by Michael Hurt  
10:32   Eric Curry missed layup  
10:30   Offensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
10:30   Personal foul on Marin Maric  
10:24   Akeem Springs missed jump shot  
10:22   Offensive rebound by Eric Curry  
10:18   Eric Curry missed layup  
10:16   Defensive rebound by Levi Bradley  
10:09   Jaylen Key missed jump shot  
10:07   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
10:00 +2 Dupree McBrayer made jump shot 38-50
10:07   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
9:39   Lost ball turnover on Marshawn Wilson  
9:35   Offensive foul on Akeem Springs  
9:35   Bad pass turnover on Akeem Springs  
9:26   Levi Bradley missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:24   Defensive rebound by Reggie Lynch  
9:06 +2 Eric Curry made jump shot, assist by Michael Hurt 38-52
8:47 +3 Marshawn Wilson made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Noah McCarty 41-52
9:06 +2 Eric Curry made jump shot, assist by Michael Hurt 41-54
8:25   Shooting foul on Marshawn Wilson  
8:25 +1 Reggie Lynch made 1st of 2 free throws 41-53
8:25