Wildcats suffer another OT loss to Michigan

Northwestern needed another marquee victory to bolster its

chances of making the school’s first-ever NCAA tournament bid.

The Wildcats had a seven-point halftime lead and were bothering

No. 11 Michigan with their 1-3-1 zone Tuesday night. But they faded

in overtime, giving up three straight 3-pointers, and the

Wolverines emerged with a 67-55 victory.

”If we would have won his game tonight it would have been a

really good one because they are ranked,” Northwestern coach Bill

Carmody. ”But it doesn’t knock you out of the box.”

But with three games left the Wildcats (16-11, 6-9) can’t wait

much longer. They play road games at Penn State and Iowa and have a

home game with Ohio State before the Big Ten tournament.

”A tough loss,” Northwestern’s Reggie Hearn said. ”We had a

chance to get a resume-building win. We didn’t get it but we still

got something to play for.”

Northwestern’s John Shurna, who leads the Big Ten in scoring,

managed only 14 points, six under his average, and had only four in

the second half. And the Wildcats’ second leading scorer, Drew

Crawford, played just 10 minutes after halftime and didn’t score,

finishing with six points. He was bothered by a leg injury.

But what really hurt the Wildcats were 14 turnovers, some at

crucial junctures. With the game tied at 49 at the end of

regulation, they had two shots to go ahead but couldn’t convert and

ended up absorbing their second overtime loss this year to

Michigan.

”We got worn down and turned the ball over 14 times,” Carmody

said. ”Those are possessions you can’t get back. That’s not

acceptable.”

Trey Burke, Zack Novak and Stu Douglass hit 3-pointers to start

the extra period as Michigan continued its late season surge with a

fourth straight victory.

”They’re trying to get into the NCAA tournament and we’re

trying to play for a Big Ten championship and I think the game and

the spirit of the game reflected that,” Michigan coach John

Beilein said.

Shurna became the school’s career scoring leader on Saturday but

was guarded by multiple defenders Tuesday night. He shot

6-for-16.

”We tried to do some things that would not get him feeling

comfortable,” Beilein said. ”Even from NBA range.”

Burke, who finished with 19 points, sank a 3-pointer after an

offensive rebound by Novak to give the Wolverines (21-7, 11-4) the

early lead in overtime. And then two more 3s gave the Wolverines a

nine-point lead.

”We went out there with a different mindset going into

overtime. We did all the small things, got on the board, got on the

ground. We just executed,” Burke said.

”We knew that they were a little winded and we were going to

come out and hit big shots, and we did. … Coach Just told us to

keep shooting.”

Tim Hardaway Jr.’s 3-pointer with about a minute and a half left

in regulation tied the game at 49. Both teams had a chance to go

ahead in closing seconds but couldn’t.

Northwestern missed two shots and the Burke rebounded the second

one and called a timeout with 24.3 seconds to go. The Wolverines

moved the ball around before Northwestern’s Alex Marcotullio fouled

with 4.7 seconds to go.

After both teams used timeouts, Burke put up a contested shot

from deep that was well short, forcing the second overtime game of

the season between the teams. Michigan won the first meeting 66-64

in Ann Arbor on Jan. 11.

Hearn, who had 11 points and 11 rebounds, hit a 3-pointer as

Northwestern regrouped after three rapid-fire turnovers to give the

Wildcats a 45-43 lead. And a Wolverines miss at the other end,.

Shurna made a spin move in the lane and dropped the ball in the

basket to make it a four-point lead.

But Burke and Hardaway hit 3-pointers for Michigan on either

side of a basket Shurna made while falling down making it 49-49 tie

with 1:25 left.