BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP)Boo Buie scored 26 points and Northwestern beat No. 15 Indiana 84-83 on Sunday for its second road victory against a ranked opponent this season.
The Wildcats (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten), who knocked off then-No. 20 Michigan State 70-63 on Dec. 4, have won seven of eight games.
”It just shows our toughness,” said Buie, who made 10 of 18 shots. ”We only have one goal this year, win more games than we lose, and we’re just trying to make the NCAA Tournament.”
Chase Audige had 19 points and eight assists for the Wildcats. Robbie Beran and Ty Berry each added 13 points.
”We have a lot of heart,” Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. ”We’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, we have a lot of limitations, but our guys really battle. They really fight. And there’s power when you have a together group.”
Indiana (10-5, 1-3) has lost four of six.
Freshman Jalen Hood-Schifino led the Hoosiers with a career-best 33 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including five 3s. Trayce Jackson-Davis had 18 points, a career-high 24 rebounds and eight assists.
Hood-Schifino’s 33 points are the most for an Indiana freshman since Eric Gordon in 2007.
”Obviously he’s one of our best players,” Jackson-Davis said. ”We need him to make plays and that’s what he did. He made big shot after big shot. Props to him because he really helped put the team on his back when we needed scoring.”
Indiana coach Mike Woodson said his team has been outworked in the last two losses.
”It’s my job to get `em to play harder,” Woodson said. ”And that might cure a lot of problems when you’re struggling.”
Indiana had 16 turnovers, nine more than Northwestern, and the visitors enjoyed a 25-6 scoring edge off turnovers.
”Our ability to get 25 points off the turnovers was a huge stat to the game,” Collins said. ”They weren’t able to get their defense set and we were able to attack in transition and get some easy (baskets).”
Northwestern hit 10 of its first 14 shots to seize the early lead, was ahead by as many as 17 points in the first half and relied upon superior depth to stay ahead by double digits for much of the second half until the final minutes.
”We come into these atmospheres ready to go, right from the jump, and throw that first punch,” Buie said.
Northwestern: After five consecutive losing seasons, the Wildcats returned four starters for a third consecutive year and appear poised to make the NCAA Tournament. Collins’ team is worthy of being ranked.
Indiana: Hood-Schifino has been an excellent alternative to injured senior Xavier Johnson, but the Hoosiers are hurting without senior Race Thompson, who suffered a knee injury in the previous game and like Johnson is out indefinitely. Jackson-Davis and Hood-Schifino need more help from others.
Northwestern: Hosts Rutgers on Wednesday.
Indiana: Visits Penn State on Wednesday.
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