ROSEMONT, Ill. (AP) — Scottie Lindsey scored 26 points, Derek Pardon added 16 and No. 19 Northwestern held off Loyola (Md.) 79-75 on Friday night.
Northwestern (1-0) won despite blowing a 17-point lead in the second half. Brent Holcombe made a 3 to get Loyola (0-1) within 75-73 with 1:28 remaining after a shot clock violation by Northwestern. Loyola had a chance to tie but Holcombe turned the ball over with 16 seconds left. Bryant McIntosh, who was fouled after the turnover, made two free throws to put the Wildcats ahead. Trailing 77-75, the Greyhounds had one more chance after Lindsey missed two free throws with 5 seconds left, but the Greyhounds turned the ball over.
Andrew Kostecka scored a career-high 22 points and Cam Gregory added 18 for Loyola in the season opener for both schools.
Northwestern appeared to have a comfortable 37-24 lead at halftime and extended the lead to 17 points early in the second half, but the Wildcats had trouble with their offense and containing Kostecka in the second half. Kostecka got the Greyhounds within 55-53 on a 3-pointer and Gregory tied the game at 55. The Greyhounds took the lead on a 3-pointer by Holcombe with 7:02 left.
Lindsey broke a 68-all tie with a 3, and Pardon had a basket to put the Wildcats up 74-68 with 2:15 left.
McIntosh finished with 16 points and was 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Northwestern returned four starters from a school-record 24-win season, including its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament and a win there before losing to national runner-up Gonzaga.
The Wildcats played its first game at Allstate Arena, 14 miles off campus.. They are playing all their home games at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, a suburb of Chicago, as Welsh-Ryan Arena undergoes a $110 million renovation.
Lindsey, who mainly played off the ball last season, handled some of the point guard duty. This should take pressure off McIntosh, who was their primary ballhandler and scorer last season. McIntosh led the team in scoring last season, averaging 14.8 per game.
Loyola visits Fairfield on Tuesday. Fairfield finished the 2016-17 season with a 16-15 record.
Northwestern hosts Saint Peter’s on Monday before hosting Creighton on Wednesday.
Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.