EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) – Tre Demps scored 23 points and sparked a decisive second half run as Northwestern claimed a 72-65 Big Ten victory over Indiana on Wednesday night.
Alex Olah had 17 points and 11 rebounds while Vic Law added 14 points as the Wildcats (14-14, 5-10 Big Ten) extended a winning streak to four and beat the Hoosiers for the third straight time over two seasons.
Troy Williams collected 21 points and 14 rebounds, Nick Zeisloft had 12 points, while Robert Johnson and Kevin (Yogi) Ferrell had 11 apiece for Indiana (19-10, 9-7), which has lost two of three and three of its last five.
Northwestern used a 13-0 second half run to take command and opened a 62-48 lead with 4:09 to play.
Indiana missed 10 straight shots in the same span until Williams’ fast break layup with 3:17 to play.
After trailing by as many as 14 points the Hoosiers crept to within five points with 17 seconds left but got no closer.
Indiana was 9-for-14 on first half 3-point shots as the teams played to a 40-40 halftime deadlock.
Zeisloft hit 4-for-5 from beyond the arc for a game-high 12 points. Northwestern mixed inside and outside shooting and shot 51.7 percent (15-for-29) for first half. Law had 11 points- including two 3-pointers – while Olah worked inside for 10 points.
Olah also had a block midway through the first half, giving him a school record 137.
Demps scored nine unanswered points in a span of 3:35 in the second half as Northwestern opened a 58-48 advantage with 9:27 showing, the largest lead by either team to that point.
Indiana: Junior guard Yogi Ferrell is among 17 finalists for the 2015 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the year and hit three 3-point shots to extend his streak of hitting at least one 3-pointer to 58 games, the longest active streak in the nation.
Northwestern: Forward Vic Law was named Big Ten freshman of the week this week after averaging 13 points and 7.5 rebounds in two wins last week, including his first career double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds) against Penn State. Law had his third straight double-figure effort (14 points) on Wednesday.
STAT LINE – After hitting 9-for-14 (64.3 percent) 3-point tries in the first half, Indiana hit only three in the second and closed with 12-for-31 (38.7 percent). Northwestern was 25-for-49 for the game (51 percent).
Wednesday’s game was the 161st all-time meeting in a series dating back to 1908. The Hoosiers lead 112-49 but the Wildcats have won three of the last four, including a 61-56 victory on Feb. 22, 2014 in Evanston.
BEYOND THE ARC
Indiana entered Wednesday ranked third nationally in 3-point percentage (41.2 percent) and ninth in 3-point field goals made (9.2 per game). The Hoosiers set a school and Big Ten record by hitting 18-of-32 on Feb. 15 against Minnesota.
Indiana hosts Iowa on March 3.
Northwestern is at Illinois on Feb. 28, hosts Michigan on March 3.