It took a second-half surge and an extra period, but Northwestern was able to come back and beat Columbia on Friday night in Evanston.
Trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Cats were still down eight with three and a half minutes to play and chipped away from there. A Bryant McIntosh bucket and an Aaron Falzon 3-pointer made it a three-point game, but the gap accordioned out to six shortly there after. A Tre Demps layup and a Gavin Skelly dunk cut it to a two-point game, and McIntosh capped that six-point stretch with a game-tying bucket with 40 seconds left. Missed shots scattered the final half minute, forcing overtime.
All but three of the points from both teams in overtime came on free throws, Northwestern hitting four and Columbia hitting six. The difference was a Demps 3-pointer with a minute to play that extended a then-one-point lead to four. A McIntosh basket again made it a four-point lead, and the Cats held on for the comeback win to move to 3-0.
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Northwestern shot a terrific 52.5 percent from the field — including 62.1 percent in the second half — and made 13 3-pointers on the evening. McIntosh hit five of those triples, with Demps hitting four. The guard combo combined for 54 points, with McIntosh accounting for a career-high 32. The two combined for 12 assists and hardly came off the floor, with Demps playing all 45 minutes and McIntosh playing 41.
Alex Olah had eight points and seven rebounds, while Nathan Taphorn had six points, four rebounds, two assists and hit a pair of 3-pointers.
Next up is the Cats' stiffest non-conference challenge of the season, a date with No. 1 North Carolina on Monday night in Kansas City, Mo.