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    Wildcats Outlast Wheaton In Defensive Struggle, 41-39

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Kevin Coble, who scored 12 points to help Northwestern past Wheaton, defends Kent Raymond in the Wildcats' 41-39 win. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Kevin Coble, who scored 12 points to help Northwestern past Wheaton, defends Kent Raymond in the Wildcats' 41-39 win. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 14, 2006

    Box Score |  Quotes

    EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Freshman Kevin Coble scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half as Northwestern held on to win its fifth straight game, 41-39 over Division III Wheaton.

    Wheaton nearly pulled one out for its loud contingent of fans as Andy Wiele's 3-pointer bounced off the rim at the final buzzer of the first-ever meeting between the two schools located about 37 miles apart.

    With the Wildcats (6-2) trailing 32-29, Coble scored eight straight points - including a baseline 3-pointer - to put Northwestern ahead for good, 37-32 with 5:44 remaining.

    Wheaton (5-3), which ran a patient offense all night, got back to 37-35 when point guard Kent Raymond was fouled on a 3-pointer and sank all three free throws.

    Raymond, who finished with a game-high 17 points, brought the Thunder to within 41-39 on an offensive rebound basket with 38.2 seconds left. Wheaton then fouled Northwestern's Sterling Williams, who missed the one-and-one with 17.6 seconds on the clock. Northwestern attempted only two free throws for the game, making one, while Wheaton was 8-for-9 from the foul line.

    After a timeout, Wheaton worked the ball around the three-point arc and with Raymond closely covered, Wiele took the shot from just left of the top of the key.

    Northwestern led 16-5 with 8:31 to go before halftime, but the Wildcats misfired on their final 11 shots, as the Thunder grabbed an 18-16 advantage at the intermission.

    Shooting was at a premium throughout the opening 20 minutes, as Northwestern finished 7-for-26 (27 percent), while Wheaton was 7-for-19 (37 percent).

    Despite giving up a height advantage across the board, the aggressive Thunder outrebounded Northwestern 36-19 for the game, as 6-4 forward Johnnie Standard led everyone with nine rebounds.

    Northwestern, however, committed only seven turnovers compared with Wheaton's 18 miscues that included eight turnovers by Raymond, who had the ball in his hands on practically every Thunder possession.

     

     

    Craig Moore scored 10 points and added five assists for Northwestern.

    Wheaton, a member of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, last met a current Division I school when it faced Bradley in the 1974-75 season. The Thunder entered the game at 16th on the all-time wins list for Division III schools (1,226).