BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - A suffocating Northwestern defense kept the Wildcats in the game, and reserve guard Tre Demps reeled off a late scoring flurry to lead them past Indiana with a hard-fought 54-47 victory on Saturday afternoon. Northwestern (9-10, 2-4 Big Ten) led most of the way and received 15 points from Demps, including 10 straight that gave the Wildcats a 48-42 lead with 47 seconds remaining. The game remained tied at 38 for nearly two minutes before Demps exploded. Indiana (12-6, 2-3) suffered a letdown after beating previously No. 3-ranked Wisconsin on Tuesday. Center Noah Vonleh led the Hoosiers, who shot just 25 percent from the field, with 17 points and 12 rebounds, his seventh double-double. Forward Drew Crawford had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats, who hit 37 percent of their shots and snapped a stretch of five losses in six games. They held Indiana's leading scorer, point guard Yogi Ferrell, to nine points on 2-of-14 shooting. The win was Northwestern's second on the road this season. The first half was a hard-fought defensive struggle, as the teams combined for 14-of-60 shooting and 10 turnovers. The Wildcats were the first to reach double figures when Crawford's basket with 8:50 remaining gave them a 10-6 lead. The Wildcats' defense was smothering early, forcing Indiana into bad shots, stymieing post plays and altering shots at the rim. Northwestern's offensive attack centered on weakside 3-point shots, with Abrahamson -- starting in place of injured point guard Dave Sobolewski -- making three in the half to support the defense. A running floater in the lane by Demps pushed the Wildcats ahead 17-8 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the half before Indiana finally generated momentum. Etherington completed a pair of three-point plays, letting out a roar and fist pump after the second, and Vonleh made a layup and two free throws as the Hoosiers closed on an 11-5 run to trail 22-19 at intermission. NOTES: Northwestern F Drew Crawford, a career 1,600-point scorer, is the Big Ten's active leader in that category. ... The Wildcats entered with two wins in their previous four visits to Assembly Hall. ... Indiana F Jeremy Hollowell, a starter for 14 games, continued to sit on the bench while he deals with what Coach Tom Crean described as "focus" issues.
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