EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern set a dominating tone early with five unanswered 3-pointers and never looked back on the way to a 63-42 victory over Brown in a non-conference season finale at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Dave Sobolewski collected a team-high 14 points and eight assists for the Wildcats (9-4) while Tre Demps, Kale Abrahamson and Alex Marcotullio each added nine. Sean McDonagill had a game-high 20 points to pace Brown (3-6). With two starters out of action, Wildcat coach Bill Carmody gave Marcotullio his first start while Abrahamson made his third. Four different Wildcats hit from beyond the arc in the game's opening 4 minutes 24 second -- including a pair from Abrahamson -- as Northwestern sprinted to an quick 15-0 lead. Brown's Tucker Halpern broke the shutout 19 seconds later with a 3 pointer. The game's first seven field goals on both sides were 3 pointers. The Wildcats struggled at times inside the paint as Brown had several open first half looks under the basket yet still limited the Bears to its fewest points of the season. Brown never got closer than eight points through the balance of the half as Northwestern claimed a 28-18 lead behind nine points from Demps off the bench. The Wildcats then outscored the Bears 10-1 in the first 3:55 of the second half for a 38-19 lead following Sobolewski's bank shot. Northwestern followed with a 16-1 run -- including four consecutive 3-pointers -- for a 60-27 lead with 9:11 to play. Brown closed the gap to 21 in the late going. Northwestern was without scoring leader Reggie Hearn, sidelined with a left ankle spain suffered Friday against Stanford. Hearn, averaging 14.5 points per game, participated in pre-game warmups. He's the second Wildcat top gun out out of action. No. 2 scorer Drew Crawford is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Sunday's game was a homecoming for Brown's tri-captains. Junior Sean McGonagill starred at Riverside-Brookfield High School, senior Tyler Ponticelli is from nearby Northbrook and Glenbrook North High School while senior Matt Sullivan, the Ivy League's scoring leader (16 points) is a Loyola Academy graduate. All got warm receptions during introductions. NOTES: Brown was back in action after a 15-day layoff. The Bears dropped an 84-57 decision on Dec. 8 at Notre Dame ... The Bears hope to break a three-game losing streak when they play crosstown Providence for the first time at home since 1982 on Friday at the Pizzitola Sports Center ... Northwestern has a 10-day break until Jan. 3 when it kicks off Big Ten play at home against Michigan ... The Wildcats hold a 5-3 series lead in eight meetings in a series dating back to 1961-62. The Bears beat the Wildcats 73-67 last year at Welsh-Ryan Arena ... The Bears-Wildcats series dates back to 1961-62 ... Welsh-Ryan Arena will switch to wrestling late this week when the 50th annual Midlands Tournament opens Dec. 29 ... Brown coach Mike Brown's wife, Kristin, gave birth to Avery Rita Martin last Tuesday. She checked in a an even 7 pounds.
- Sports & Recreation