Northwestern announced some dreadful injury news before Sunday’s game. Then the Wildcats played a dreadful first half that had them trailing Loyola (Md.) by double digits at halftime.
The solution? Bryant McIntosh and Scottie Lindsey to the rescue.
The sophomore duo combined for 32 points in the final 20 minutes, guiding the Cats in a red-hot comeback that ended in a 74-59 win, Northwestern’s 12th of the season in 13 non-conference games.
The Cats trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, 11 at the break and found themselves down by 12 not even three minutes into the second period. But a 23-6 run from there flipped the script, changing a 12-point deficit into a five-point lead. Aaron Falzon hit a pair of 3s during the stretch, with freshman big man Derek Pardon getting a couple buckets in his first action of the year. But it was McIntosh who provided the biggest spark, accounting for three baskets during the run, including a 3-pointer right before the half's midway point that gave Northwestern that five-point lead.
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After Loyola whittled that gap down to just a point, Lindsey and McIntosh splashed in back-to-back triples, followed by a layup apiece, part of 10 straight points that gave the Cats a double-digit advantage with more than seven minutes to play. The lead stayed big from there.
McIntosh finished with 33 points, Lindsey with 14. A total of 32 of those points came in the second half. The duo combined for the final 28 points Northwestern scored on the evening.
Northwestern shot a blistering 65.6 percent in the second half after scoring just 22 first-half points on 35-percent shooting. The Cats hit seven of 10 3-point attempts in the final 20 minutes after going 1-for-7 from deep in the opening 20. Northwestern held Loyola to 34.5-percent shooting and just 26 points in the second half.
The comeback victory was a solid consolation after some tough pregame injury news, the Cats announcing that senior center Alex Olah is out indefinitely with a foot injury.
The win wrapped Northwestern's non-conference schedule, with the Cats winning all but one of those games, that loss coming to North Carolina. Northwestern begins Big Ten play Wednesday at Nebraska.