Northwestern pulls out a 58-52 win over Brown - KMSP-TV

Northwestern pulls out a 58-52 win over Brown

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Associated Press

   EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- When Drew Crawford cooled off, Northwestern's supporting cast picked up the slack.
   Alex Olah scored eight of his 10 points in the second half and Kale Abrahamson had nine of his 11 in the final 20 minutes, allowing the cold-shooting Wildcats to pull out a 58-52 win over Brown on Sunday.
   Olah gave the Wildcats leads three times late in the game. His 3-pointer with 8:34 to put Northwestern (7-5) ahead for good at 44-41. Abrahamson's three-point play with 43 seconds left sealed the victory.
   Crawford, who leads the Wildcats with 16.5 points per game, paced Northwestern with 24 points against the Bears (6-4). He scored 17 of his team's 25 in the first half to keep his team in it.
   Brown and a little fatigue kept Crawford, who played all 40 minutes, in check in the second half. But Olah and Abrahamson clicked down the stretch.
   "It was great because we were struggling for points," Northwestern coach Chris Collins said. "I said to my staff at halftime, `I don't know if I've ever seen a stat sheet like that."'
   Northwestern trailed 27-25 after 20 minutes. Crawford was 6-for-10 from the floor. The rest of the Wildcats combined were 4-for-22.
   "For us to be down only two, it showed how well we were playing defensively," Collins said. "Then I thought Kale's and Alex's offense in the second half was much needed.
   "Drew played the whole game, he had 11 rebounds and was blocking shots.  He's going to get tired and other guys have to step up.  Those two guys really did offensively."
   Olah said that it was only a matter of time before shots started dropping for Wildcats other than Crawford.
   "We were there (in the game)," Olah said.  "We just had to get together and we were going to make shots."
   Sean McGonagill led Brown with 16 and Cedric Kuakumensah added 10.
   Brown, which hadn't played since Dec. 10, and Northwestern both struggled from the floor. The Bears went 20 for 63 (31.7 percent) and Northwestern was 21-59 (35.6 percent.)
   "I thought both teams struggled offensively," Brown coach Mike Martin said. "Part of that is you've got to credit the other team's defense.
   "I felt we played with a good effort, but we didn't convert as much as we need to in-close and at the foul line."
   The Bears shot only 38.7 percent in the first half, but the Wildcats were even worse, going through long droughts and hitting only 10 of 32 shots.
   McGonagill paced Brown in opening 20 minutes, going 5 for 9 with two three-point scores.
   Crawford kept it close, going 2 for 4 on 3-pointers and adding three free throws. His 3-pointer gave Northwestern a 13-8 lead 4:33 in, but the Wildcats didn't score for the next 5 minutes and the Bears went on a 9-0 run.
   Brown pulled ahead 14-13 on McGonagill's layup at 7:59 and stayed in front for the rest of the half.
   Bears opened their biggest lead of the half, at seven points, with 8:09 left on Rafael Maia's layup.
   Crawford's 3-point shot tied it at 31 with just under four minutes in to the second half, but Brown's Steven Spieth sank a free throw moments later and McGonagill followed up with a three-point shot.
   Then Brown went stone-cold, not scoring for 6:25.
   Abrahamson's 3-pointer two-minutes later tied it at 39, then Olah put the Wildcats back in front 41-39 midway through the second.
   His 3-pointer with 8:34 to go made it 44-41.
   Brown closed to 51-49 with 2 minutes to go when Maia converted a rebound off his missed layup.
   Crawford landed hard on his right shoulder while blocking a shot in the final minutes, but said he wasn't injured.
   "I don't think it's anything to worry about," he said. "I guess you can say it was tested and still feels fine."
   JerShon Cobb, the Wildcats second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, missed his second game with a sprained left ankle.
   Sunday's game was the eighth meeting between the Wildcats and Bears, dating to 1961-62. Northwestern leads series 6-2.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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