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    Wildcats Fall Short Against Illini

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Illinois' Warren Carter guards Tim Doyle during the first half.
    Illinois' Warren Carter guards Tim Doyle during the first half.

    Feb. 7, 2007

    Box Score |  Quotes

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- The Wildcats struggled to find the bottom of the net tonight in a 58-43 loss to in-state rival Illinois at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tim Doyle led Northwestern with 16 points and five assists.

    "We're not shooting the ball very well and we can't seem to get any rebounds," head coach Bill Carmody said after the game. "I thought their defense was good and Shaun Pruitt and Rich McBride were especially good. Pruitt dominated on offense and when he guarded our center, Vince Scott had a rough night so we had to go small and that helped them a little bit. We just don't seem to be able to make shots and every team has to do that. This is home court and we shoot 17 percent. It's tough to win."

    The 'Cats (11-12, 1-9) were slow out of the gates as they got behind 9-0 early on. They found themselves down 14 but fought back with an 11-0 run late in the first period to cut the Illini lead to 26-23 with 1:38 left. Kevin Coble started the run with a jumper and 3-pointer and hit another jumper that made it a three-point game. But Illinois scored the last five points of the half to make it 31-23 at the half.

    On two occasions early in the second, Northwestern trimmed the lead to five points, once on a Jason Okrzesik 3-pointer and later on a layup by Doyle. But that would be as close as the Wildcats would come as Illinois used a 12-0 to blow the game wide open.

    Northwestern had no answer for Illinois on the boards as the Illini grabbed 16 offensive rebounds, converting those into 16 points. Shaun Pruitt grabbed a game-high 15 rebounds and scored 13 points. Warren Carter led Illinois with 17 points, followed by 15 from Rich McBride who scored all of his points from long range.



    Northwestern is back in action this Saturday at home against Penn State. Game time is 1:30 p.m. CT.