Illinois rallies, holds on vs. Northwestern 57-56

Illinois rallies, holds on vs. Northwestern 57-56

Credit: AP

Illinois' Nanna Egwu (32) celebrates with Joseph Bertrand after Illinois defeated Northwestern 57-56 in an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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by Rick Gano

AP

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 8:48 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 4 at 8:49 PM

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Myke Henry made one of two free throws with 6 seconds left and Meyers Leonard blocked a shot just before the buzzer as Illinois pulled out a 57-56 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.
 
Leonard hit a free throw with 29 seconds left to put the Illini up 56-54, but Northwestern's Drew Crawford tied it on a tip with 17 seconds remaining.
 
After Brandon Paul drove but couldn't connect, Henry was fouled on a rebound follow-up. He made one free throw but missed the second.
 
Crawford rebounded and tried to drive the length of the floor, but the 7-foot-1 Leonard swatted the shot away.
 
Leonard led the Illini (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) with 12 points. Paul and Joseph Bertrand added 10 each.
 
Shurna, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 18.6 for Northwestern (11-4, 1-2), had 17 first-half points but just the three in the second under tough defense from Paul.

 

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