Sophomore Marshawn Wilson scored a game-high 19 points while senior Dontel Highsmith added 10 points for NIU.
"Through the first eight minutes . . .
Early in the contest, a layup from sophomore Levi Bradley trimmed the Minnesota lead to one with just under 11 minutes to play in the opening half before the Golden Gophers answered with the next six to take a 15-8 advantage.
Maric closed the contest with nine points, five rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Minnesota's lead grew back to seven before back-to-back baskets from Wilson brought the Huskies within three, 24-21, with just under two minutes to play before the break. Minnesota scored the next five and a basket from Highsmith trimmed the Gopher lead to a half-dozen, 29-23, at the half.
NIU (4-5) held Minnesota to just 30 percent shooting (9-of-30) in the opening 20 minutes as the Gophers held the six-point lead thanks to their 9-1 edge at the free-throw line.
Highsmith scored the first four out of the locker room as the Huskies pulled within a pair, 29-27.
Still leading by two, Minnesota used a 9-3 burst to push itslead to eight, 40-32, with just under 16 minutes remaining. The Gopher lead grew to 11 until an old-fashioned three-point play from Maric brought the Huskies back within eight, 46-38, with 12:10 left.
Shortly after the three-point play, Maric picked up his third and fourth fouls of the afternoon as the Gophers used a 13-3 run to push the lead to 59-41, putting the contest out of reach.
Minnesota shot 53.6 percent (15-of-28) from the field in the second half as five Gophers reached double figures. Reggie Lynch scored a team-high 18 points, Jordan Murphy added 12, Nate Mason chipped in 11, while Dupree McBrayer and Akeem Springs each scored 10 points.
NIU will return home on Wednesday, Dec. 14, as the Huskies host Olivet Nazarene at the NIU Convocation Center. Game time against the Tigers is scheduled for 7 p.m.
(Courtesy of NIU Athletics)