Nov. 22, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -
There's being in the zone and then there's what Northwestern senior guard Craig Moore was Saturday night. Moore hit eight of his school-record nine 3-pointers in the first half en route to a career-high 31 points as the Wildcats held off a second-half charge by Brown to earn a 73-64 win at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Northwestern's 3-0 start marks the first time the team has won its first three contests since the 1993-94 season when that squad started 9-0.
Moore was white-hot from beyond the arc in the first half, knocking down eight of nine attempts as he scored 24 points before the break.
The Wildcats held a 20-15 lead with a little over 10 minutes remaining in the first half when Moore and Michael Thompson hit triples sandwiched around a layup by Kevin Coble to push the advantage to 13.
Moore was far from done, though, as four more makes from beyond the arc over a five-minute span helped Northwestern take a commanding 48-26 lead into the break. The Wildcats assisted on 13 baskets over the opening 20 minutes of play while not committing a single turnover.
The eight 3-pointers in the half equaled Moore's NU record for threes in a game that he set in a win at Michigan Feb. 26, 2008. The 'Cats made a whopping 11 triples as a team in the half on just 16 attempts (68.8 percent).
A quick nine-point run to start the second half got Brown back within striking range at 50-37. Northwestern stretched the lead back up to 18 with 14 minutes left, but the hosts refused to go away and a 16-6 run over a six-minute stretch pulled the Bears to within just six points at 66-60 with 4:43 still remaining.
However, Luka Mirkovic hit one free throw, Thompson hitting a driving layup, Moore hit a layup of his own and Thompson drilled a baseline jumper to extend the advantage back up to 13 with two and a half minutes left to seal the victory for the Wildcats.
Northwestern had just four turnovers in the contest while forcing the Bears into 17 miscues. Thompson scored 10 of his 15 points after the half and handed out a game-high five assists.
The Wildcats return to action at 6 p.m. Central time Wednesday when it travels to Butler.