Jan. 6, 2011
Site: Champaign, Ill. (Assembly Hall)
Score: Northwestern #, Illinois #
Records: NU (9-4, 0-3 Big Ten), Illinois (13-3, 3-0 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Jan. 9 -- vs. Indiana (Welsh-Ryan Arena), 6 p.m.
Tickets: Available at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Northwestern couldn't overcome a stellar first-half shooting performance by 20th-ranked Illinois, falling 88-63 at Assembly Hall Thursday evening. JerShon Cobb led the Wildcats with a career-high 18 points.
The contest concluded a challenging opening stretch to the Big Ten schedule for the Wildcats during which all of their first three conference games were against ranked opponents.
The Fighting Illini connected on 18 of 22 field goal attempts over the opening 20 minutes of play, including six of seven from 3-point range.
Illinois scored on each of its first six offensive possessions to surge out to a 16-8 lead. A lay-in by Alex Marcotullio got Northwestern within six, but 13 straight by the hosts extended their lead to 19.
NU answered back with seven consecutive points to get back within 29-17, but the Illini could do little wrong in the stanza. The Wildcats were able to force 10 turnovers in the first period, but trailed 47-24 at the break.
Northwestern was never able to threaten in the second half as it shot just 34.3 percent from the field in the contest.
Michael Thompson contributed 15 points for the Wildcats, while Nick Fruendt came off the bench to add a career-best eight points. NU forced 22 Illinois turnovers in the contest.
Northwestern returns to action at 6 p.m. Sunday as it hosts Indiana at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tickets are available at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.
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