Northwestern not only has two Big Ten wins now, but two wins in the same week. The Wildcats defeated Illinois last Sunday at home, and Saturday they won in Assembly Hall, beating Indiana 54-47.
Northwestern's defense has improved immensely in their last several outings. They held Indiana to 15 of 60 shooting, a 25 percent mark for the day. The Hoosiers had trouble from deep too, going 4 of 18 on three pointers. The Wildcats swarmed to Noah Vonleh any time he touched the ball in the post, and they closed out well on perimeter shots. Yogi Ferrell and Evan Gordon were held to 5 of 26 shooting.
Vonleh still had a strong game, scoring 17 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Vonleh's 17 points came on 5 of 15 shooting including two made threes. He and Alex Olah battled in the post throughout the game. Olah finished with 8 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 blocks. Olah's defensive efforts were the best he's had this season. It took more than 17 minutes for Indiana to reach 10 points.
Northwestern wasn't much better than the Hoosiers on offense, shooting 37.3% on the day. However, Drew Crawford and Tre Demps came up big. Late in the second half, Demps scored seven consecutive for the 'Cats, giving them the lead. Demps scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half. Crawford had 17 points and 12 rebounds, ending his recent offensive woes.
The game remained close for much of the second half, but clutch play from Demps and solid defense by Northwestern helped the 'Cats pull away in the end. The victory was the 'Cats' first conference road win since January 17, 2013.
Indiana moves to 2-3 in B1G play with the loss. They head to East Lansing on Tuesday to face off with Michigan State. For Northwestern, the win was their second conference victory, moving them to 2-4. The 'Cats will be at home against Purdue on Tuesday.