MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- A 15-point effort by Lawrence Westbrook Thursday night, along with a dominating defense, carried No. 24 Minnesota to a 59-36 bashing of No. 20 Illinois.
The Golden Gophers held the Illini to 29 percent shooting from the field, including just 2-of-16 from three-point range.
Minnesota outrebounded Illinois 40-27 and pulled away in the second half.
The Gophers (18-3, 6-3 Big Ten) moved a half game in front of Illinois into third place in the conference race behind Michigan State (7-1) and Purdue (5-2).
Westbrook made 6-of-9 shots, half of his field goals being three-pointers. Ralph Sampson III was the only other Minnesota player in double figures with 10.
Illinois (17-4, 5-3) managed only 15 field goals for the entire game. Dominique Keller led the way with nine points.