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    Moment No. 14: 'Cats Topple Ranked Rival

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    The 2012-13 season was a memorable one for Northwestern. Over the next few weeks, we will celebrate the conference championships, noteworthy wins and significant milestones the Wildcats accumulated during the past year. Be sure to follow along at NUSports.com as we revisit the top 20 moments.

    Moment No. 14
    Date Jan. 17, 2013
    Location Assembly Hall | Champaign, Ill.
    Original Story Wildcats Lead Throughout in 68-54 Win at No. 23/22 Illinois
    Video Video Highlights
    Photos Photo Gallery
    Social Media @NUMensBball   |  Northwestern Men's Basketball
    Top 20 Countdown Northwestern's Top 20 Moments of 2012-13 Countdown

    Assembly Hall in Champaign hasn't always been kind to the Northwestern men's basketball team, but the Wildcats made two in a row over their instate rivals on their home court when NU led from the start en route to a convincing 68-54 victory on Jan. 17.

    Illinois Game Highlights
    At 1-3 in Big Ten play and coming off a rough home loss to Iowa four days earlier, not much was expected of Northwestern as it was set to take on the nation's 23rd-ranked team, a squad that had already notched wins over Butler, Gonzaga and Ohio State.

    However, the Wildcats stormed out to a 10-3 lead and never trailed in the contest. Illinois closed to within 15-11, but a 13-3 run pushed the advantage to 14 with just over five minutes left in the opening half. The advantage would grow to as many as 17 in the opening stanza before Northwestern eventually took a 36-21 lead at the break.

    NU connected on five of its seven 3-point attempts over the opening 20 minutes of play to key the charge. Illinois closed to within 10 early in the second half, but the Wildcats had an answer every time the hosts attempted to make a charge.

    The Illini was still within striking distance at 50-41 with three minutes to go when Jared Swopshire sealed the deal with a driving three-point play. Reggie Hearn led the way for NU, scoring 20 points for the second-consecutive year in a win at Assembly Hall. In all, five Wildcats scored in double figures with the team connecting on 26 of 31 attempts from the free throw line.

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