Defense Carries Northwestern Past Indiana 54-47
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Tre Demps scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half and Northwestern defeated Indiana 54-47 on Saturday.
Drew Crawford added 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Wildcats (9-10, 2-4 Big Ten) won their first Big Ten road game since Jan. 17, 2013, at Illinois.
Kale Abrahamson added 9 points for Northwestern, which won despite shooting 19-of-51 (37.3 percent). Helping the Wildcats’ cause: Indiana’s own poor shooting.
Noah Vonleh had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Hoosiers (12-6, 2-3), who shot just 25 percent (15-of-60) while having its two-game winning streak snapped.
Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell, the Hoosiers’ sophomore point guard who came into Saturday leading the Big Ten in scoring at 17.9 ppg, scored 9 points while shooting just 2-of-13 from the field.
Both teams struggled offensively from the start. The Hoosiers, whose 72.5 ppg in conference play was fourth in the Big Ten coming in, didn’t reach double digits in points until Noah Vonleh hit two free throws with 2:59 to play in the first half.
But after hitting just three of their first 25 shots, the Hoosiers hit 3-of-4 to close within 22-19 at the break. IU finished the first half 6-of-31 from the field.
Northwestern led by nine points twice in the first half, but couldn’t pull further away because of its own shooting woes. Despite several open looks on missed defensive switches, the Wildcats couldn’t get shots to fall.
Northwestern shot just 8-of-29 from the field in the first half, including 3-of-12 on 3-pointers.
Despite their struggles, the Hoosiers battled back in the second half, taking a 36-35 lead on Evan Gordon’s 3-pointer with 7:35 to play. Hanner Mosquera-Perea had a monstrous block on Abrahamson on the other end, leading to Will Sheehey’s attempted layup for the Hoosiers.
Sheehey was fouled by Demps and hit the floor hard. He spent a few minutes lying under the basket before being helped off the court. He would return later and finished with 2 points.
With Sheehey hurt, Northwestern coach Chris Collins was allowed to pick an Indiana player to shoot Sheehey’s free throws. He chose Mosquera-Perea, a 75-percent free throw shooter.
Mosquera-Perea hit both to give the Hoosiers a 38-35 lead with 7:15 to play.
Demps hit a 3-pointer to tie the game, and then scored on Northwestern’s next possession to put the Wildcats up 40-38.
Ferrell hit two free throws to tie the game again, but Demps hit another 3-pointer, then converted Ferrell’s missed jumper into a driving basket of his own to make it 45-40 with 2:24 to play.
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