Hoosiers Outlast Northwestern

Northwestern was unable to cash in on another opportunity to earn a key victory. Now, its tournament hopes are fading fast. No. 20 Indiana defended its home court with a 71-66 win over the Wildcats.

Needing every win it can get, Northwestern played with desperation, giving its best fight to the No. 20 Indiana Hoosiers. It wasn't enough.

NU fell by a 71-66 margin in Bloomington, letting another chance for a key victory slip away.

Senior forward John Shurna, the Big Ten's leading scorer, posted 29 points, and carried the Wildcats through much of the second half.

Northwestern was within two points with two minutes remaining, but Indiana used a Christian Watford layup and Verdell Jones III three-pointer to clinch its 20th win of the season.

The Wildcats and Hoosiers were nearly even in field goal percentage throughout the contest. The difference was in the second half, where an exhausted Northwestern team was unable to match Indiana as it took control. NU received one point off the bench, a Jershon Cobb free throw in the first half.

Indiana was led by freshman forward Cody Zeller's 23 points. Christian Watford and Victor Oladipo each added 12 points. Drew Crawford was the only other Wildcat in double-figure scoring.

NU's record now sits at 15-10 overall, and 5-8 in Big Ten play. Each possession and point will be critical for its fading tournament hopes.

Next up for Northwestern is Minnesota, who travels to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday night.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college football, college basketball and college baseball for Fox Sports & Scout.com since 2009. He served as a writer for Big Red Report, covering Nebraska athletics, and is now the Publisher of PurpleWildcats.com, covering the Northwestern Wildcats.
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