EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Bryant McIntosh had 21 points and eight assists, leading surging Northwestern to a 68-55 victory over Indiana on Sunday.
The Wildcats (18-4, 7-2) held the Hoosiers to 32 percent shooting in their sixth consecutive victory. It’s their longest Big Ten win streak since the 1932-33 team matched a school record with seven in a row, and their 7-2 start in conference play is their best since the 1937-38 season.
Heady stuff for a program that has never made it to the NCAA Tournament. But it sure looks as if this might be the year for the Wildcats.
Indiana (14-8, 4-5) committed 13 turnovers while playing without leading scorer James Blackmon Jr., who got hurt during Thursday night’s 90-60 loss at Michigan. The school announced Saturday the junior guard is out indefinitely with a lower leg injury.
Blackmon, who is averaging 17.6 points, joins an impressive list of hurt Hoosiers, with forwards Collin Hartman and OG Anunoby already shelved by knee injuries.
Northwestern missed its first seven shots and fell behind 10-1 before grabbing control with a 20-2 run. Sanjay Lumpkin had a steal and a dunk, and Nathan Taphorn scored five straight points to make it 21-12 with 7:49 left.
The Wildcats were never threatened again. They led 35-23 at the break, and McIntosh’s 3-pointer stretched the advantage to 56-38 with 7:28 left.
Thomas Bryant matched a career high with 23 points and also grabbed 12 rebounds for Indiana, which has split its last six games. Robert Johnson added 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting.
McIntosh, who’s from Greensburg in southeast Indiana, went 7-for-13 from the field. He struggled in his only matchup with Indiana last season, scoring four points on 2-for-12 shooting in an 89-57 loss at the Hoosiers on Jan. 23, 2016.
WILDCATS AND CUBS
Northwestern saluted the World Series champion Chicago Cubs with a highlight video during a first-half timeout, and Cubs owner Tom Ricketts got a huge ovation when he brought the Commissioner’s Trophy out to center court.
Indiana: After Bryant and Johnson, the scoring dropped off significantly for the Hoosiers. De’Ron Davis was next with six points.
Northwestern: Lumpkin added 15 points, and Scottie Lindsey scored 12. Vic Law finished with nine points and 12 rebounds.
Indiana plays three of its next four games at home, beginning Wednesday night against visiting Penn State.
Northwestern visits Purdue on Wednesday night. The 17-5 Boilermakers are coming off an 83-80 loss at Nebraska.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.