Upset Bid Falls Just Short As No. 19 Northwestern Edges Men’s Basketball
ROSEMONT, Ill. - Loyola University Maryland’s upset attempt of 19th-ranked Northwestern University came up short Friday night as the Big Ten Conference’s Wildcats slipped past the Greyhounds, 79-75, at Allstate Arena.
The Wildcats (0-1), which won a first-round game in last year’s NCAA Championships, made defensive stops on three of Loyola’s last four possessions to thwart the Greyhounds.
Andrew Kostecka scored a career-high 22 points to lead Loyola offensively, while Cam Gregory had 18 points and 11 rebounds. James Fives grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds as Loyola outrebounded the Wildcats, 44-41.
Derek Pardon hit a free throw for Northwestern with 1:41 left in regulation, giving the Wildcats a 75-70 lead, but Brent Holcombe hit his fourth 3-pointer of the second half 10 seconds later off an Andre Walker assist to pull the Greyhounds within a pair.
Holcombe finished with 13 points in his collegiate debut.
The Greyhounds forced a missed 3-pointer on the Wildcats’ offensive possession, but Scottie Lindsey came up with a steal to get the ball back for Northwestern. Lindsey, who led all players with 26 points, missed a three after that, and the Wildcats turned the ball over on a shot-clock violation.
With 13 seconds on the clock, however, Bryant McIntosh came up with a steal for Northwestern, and he was fouled near half-court. McIntosh, who finished with 16 points and seven assists, made both free throws, stretching the Wildcats’ lead to four, 77-73.
Loyola missed a runner in the lane, but Fives came up with the rebound and was fouled on a follow-up attempt. He knocked down both free throws, and it was a one-possession game with seven ticks left.
The Greyhounds fouled Lindsey, and he missed both free throws with 6.6 seconds on the clock. Gregory came down with the rebound, but Northwestern forced a Loyola turnover to seal the game. McIntosh made two more free throws with 0.1 seconds remaining for the final margin of four points.
Northwestern scored the second half’s first four points on two McIntosh jumpers, giving the Wildcats their largest lead of the game, 41-24. The lead hovered between 12 and 14 for the next five minutes before Holcome knocked down a three at 14:48 to trim the Greyhounds’ deficit to 11.
Kostecka converted a layup and free throw at 13:46, and Loyola was within single-digits, 50-42. The teams traded baskets on each’s next two possessions until a Gregory dunk off an Isaiah Hart assist at 12:47 brought the score to 54-46.
Neither Loyola, nor Northwestern, made a field goal for more than a minute before Kostecka drained a three at 11:32, and the Greyhounds were within six, 55-49. Sam Norton then made the front-end of two foul shots 18 ticks later, and it was a five-point game.
Kostecka then took a Norton feed to bury another three at 10:48, and after he grabbed a rebound off a McIntosh miss, Gregory was fouled and made two free throws at 10:18, tying the game at 55-55.
Northwestern went back in front on a Vic Law three at 9:58, but at 7:05, Holcombe hit a three for Loyola, pushing Loyola up a point, 61-60.
The Wildcats would move back in front on a Pardon layup their next time down the court, but Hart hit a jumper at 4:44, and Loyola led again, 64-63. Pardon made two at the line for Northwestern, but Hart converted again with a lean-back jumper to push the Greyhounds back up, 66-65, with 4:18 to go.
Lindsey hit a three from the corner 16 seconds later for Northwestern, but Gregory caught a Hart pass on the baseline and dunked for Loyola, tying the game for the sixth time, 68-68, at 3:28.
Again, Lindsey made a three for the Wildcats on the next possession, giving Northwestern the lead for good.
Loyola shot 55.2 percent from the field in the second half and made 7 of 8 threes after the break after struggling from the field with a 26.7 percent mark in the first frame. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds held Northwestern to a 35.5 percent line in the second half.
Kostecka gave the Greyhounds an 8-4 lead on a 14-foot jumper with 16:32 on the first-half clock, but Northwestern scored the next 16 points to lead 20-8 on a Lindsey three at the 12:05 mark. Lindsey scored 10 of the 16 Wildcats points during the stretch that Andre Walker broke with a free throw at 11:53.
A Lindsey dunk at 11:14 stretched Northwestern’s lead to 22-9, but Ian Langendoerfer made three free throws after being fouled on a perimeter attempt, and James Fives knocked down a three at 8:44, making it a 22-15 deficit.
Gregory converted a traditional 3-point play with a layup and free throw at 6:08, and he converted one of two at the charity stripe less than a minute later, and Loyola was within five, 24-19.
The teams traded baskets on field goals by McIntosh and Walker before the Wildcats tallied seven in a row to lead, 33-21, on a McIntosh layup at 3:11.
Loyola will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 14, when it travels to Bridgeport, Connecticut, for a 7 p.m. game against Fairfield University.