Bloomington's Assembly Hall welcomed fans in from a cold and snowy January 18 afternoon, as the Indiana University Hoosiers hosted the Northwestern Wildcats.
IU battled the entire game to catch up from a slow start, going just 19 percent from the field in the first half. A late 3-4 shooting burst brought it to 22-19 at the break.
Granted there was solid defensive pressure, but both teams missed many open shots. The Hoosiers overcame their woes to battle back and steal the lead at 36-35 with 7:35 to go on Evan Gordon's 3-pointer.
But the Hoosiers couldn't maintain the momentum. Northwestern's Tre Demps caught fire late and pushed the Wildcats past IU for good with 5 quick points, 45-40. Northwestern finishes the win, 54-47.
Drew Crawford led the Wildcats with 17 points and 12 boards. However it was Demps' 13-point second half (15 for the game) and late heroics that made the difference.
The Hoosier loss overshadowed a strong game by freshman Noah Vonleh. He lead the way with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double. Coach Tom Crean applauded his performance, "Noah's getting better. He's playing in a lot of crucial situations... he's developing just fine."
Crean summed up his feelings post-game as, "Frustrating, no. Upsetting, no. Getting ready to fight again, do it again... yes."
Both teams return to action, January 21. IU (12-6, 2-3 BT) gets its chance to fight again, against the Big Ten's top dog, Michigan State (17-1, 6-0 BT). Northwestern (9-10, 2-4 BT) will face Purdue (13-5, 3-2 BT).