Dec. 27, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Led by senior center Vince Scott, Northwestern used a strong second half against Loyola of Maryland to earn a 66-60 win Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The victory gives the Wildcats their eighth win in the last nine games.
NU's 9-3 record marks its best start since the 1998-99 season.
Scott registered a career-high 16 points and Craig Moore added 14 as the Wildcats (9-3) overcame a 33-26 halftime deficit and took the lead 45-42 on Moore's 3-pointer with 9:53 to go in the game.
Down by nine early in the second half, NU went on a 21-7 run over the next 10 minutes to take a 47-42 lead on Jeff Ryan's two free throws with 9:07 left.
Scott was 7-for-7 from the field and now has connected on his last 12 field goals dating to the win over Utah at the San Juan Shootout when he went 5-for-5.
"The points I had tonight, any kid out of the stands could have had," Scott said. "They are just layups off back-door cuts and stuff like that. I made them at least."
Tim Doyle (13) and Kevin Coble (11) also finished in double figures for the Wildcats and had six assists and four steals apiece. The Wildcats turned up the defensive pressure after halftime, forcing Loyola into 12 second-half turnovers and 18 for the game.
Despite hitting just 6 3-pointers, NU kept the Greyhounds at bay by sinking 18-of-26 from the FT line.
Marquis Sullivan and Gerald Brown led the Greyhounds (5-5). Sullivan finished with a game-high 17 points and Brown had 15 before fouling out with 1:25 to go in the game.
"You have to know how to play with fouls. I don't think Gerald particularly handled that well, but that's why we're learning," Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos said. "I take responsibility as a coach that maybe I should have done some things to take some pressure off of him."
The pair led Loyola's fist-half surge as Sullivan went 4-for-5 from 3-point range, while Brown hit nearly everything for 13 points off six field goals.
"I thought it was a very good game," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody. "We competed hard, they're a good team."
Northwestern shoots for win No. 10 on Sunday, Dec. 31, entertaining 2006 NCAA participant Northwestern State at noon at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats then open Big Ten play at Penn State on Jan. 3.
The Associated Press contributed to this story