McBride leads Illinois past Northwestern
Champagne, IL (Sports Network) – Rich McBride tallied 17 points as 14th ranked
Illinois pulled away in the second half to defeat Northwestern, 63-47, at
Dee Brown added 16 points and four assists for the Fighting Illini (21-4, 7-4
Big Ten), who halted their first losing streak of the season at two games.
Warren Carter and Brian Randle also contributed 10 points each.
Mohamed Hachad led the Wildcats (12-11, 4-7) with 17 points and four rebounds.
Vince Scott tallied 11 points, the only other Northwestern player to score in
double figures as the squad saw its winning streak come to an end a two games.
After two Scott free-throws tied the scored, 29-29, just three minutes into
the second half, Illinois ran off a 15-2 run over the next six minutes that
got the home crowd back into the game. Brown was the catalyst for the spurt,
nailing two straight three-pointers to energize the Fighting Illini.
Northwestern responded to Illinois’ charge, going on a 14-4 run that cut the
lead down to three, 48-45, with just over eight minutes left to play. The run
was capped by a Scott three-pointer.
Illinois fired back with a 12-0 run in just over five minutes of action that
pushed the lead to 15 with two minutes left to play. McBride drained a three-
pointer to cap the run. This time, Northwestern did not have a response.
The Fighting Illini held a 27-20 lead after the first 20 minutes of play.
Illinois shot 56 percent from the field while Northwestern shot 41 percent.
The Fighting Illini are now tied for third in the Big Ten with Ohio State, who
handed them their worse loss of the season Sunday, 69-53. Northwestern fell
to eighth…The Wildcats were coming off a non-conference victory over IPFW,
73-49…Illinois has dominated the series between Northwestern, owning a
commanding 122-34 advantage.