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Northwestern 74, Baylor 70

The SportsXchange

WACO, Texas -- During Tuesday's game at Baylor, Northwestern did the things teams like to do on the road in nonconference play.

The Wildcats rebounded and played defense, and they held on to defeat the Bears 74-70 at the Ferrell Center.

Northwestern (7-2) outrebounded Baylor 35-23. The Wildcats silenced the Bears (5-3) on the offensive end coming out of halftime to build a lead that would withstand Baylor's late rally.

Bears center Isaiah Austin hit a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left to make it a two-point game, but the Wildcats' Drew Crawford made two free throws to ice the win.

Northwestern surged in the second half by shutting down Baylor's offense. The Wildcats held Baylor to one point through the first seven minutes after the break. That allowed Northwestern to grab a 15-point lead when center Alex Olah hit a jumper with 13:04 left.

Guard A.J. Walton made the Bears' first field goal of the second half with 12:22 to go, but that only seemed to ignite the Wildcats.

Crawford and teammate Dave Sobolewski made 3-pointers on consecutive trips down the floor, pushing the Wildcats to their largest lead, 54-36.

Baylor began creeping closer when Northwestern went cold from the field later in the second half. The Wildcats went without a field goal for almost six minutes, though Northwestern's Reggie Hearn went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line during that stretch.

Meanwhile, Baylor's Gary Franklin hit a 3-pointer and Pierre Jackson went to the basket for a layup that cut the Wildcats lead to eight with 5:03 left.

Hearn and Jared Swopshire each picked up their fourth foul for Northwestern during the same stretch, increasing Baylor's chance to claw its way back.

Hearn stayed in the game and scored a vital layup on an assist from Sobolewski, and Olah made a fade-away jumper to extend the Wildcats' lead back to 12 with 3:48 remaining.

Northwestern weathered Baylor's 8-2 run to begin the game. Bears guard Brady Heslip's 3-pointer bounced high off the rim and fell through to give Baylor the early six-point edge.

The Wildcats closed the gap with a pair of 3-pointers later in the half by Sobolewski and Kale Abrahamson to tie the game at 16.

Northwestern, which outrebounded Baylor more than 2-to-1 in the first half, carved out a 10-2 run midway through the first half.

Crawford sparked the Wildcats' surge with a fast-break layup on an assist from Sobolewski and a pair of free throws. Swopshire capped it with a putback that gave Northwestern a 28-23 lead with 3:43 to go in the half.

However, Baylor stopped the run with a Heslip 3-pointer and Bears forward Rico Gathers tied the game with an inside basket on an assist from Pierre Jackson.

The Wildcats went to halftime with a three-point lead after Sobolewski hit a 3 with the first-half clock running out.

NOTES: Baylor, which ended Kentucky's 55-game home winning streak on Saturday, dropped its second straight at home. The Bears lost at home against College of Charleston on Nov. 24. ... Northwestern improved to 3-0 this season in the state of Texas. The Wildcats defeated TCU and Illinois State in the South Padre Island Invitational.
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