Correction: BKC-UMass-Lowell-Northwestern story
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) In a story Nov. 13 about the UMass-Lowell-Northwestern game, The Associated Press erroneously reported that Alex Olah is Northwestern's lone senior and Aaron Falzon came off the bench. Northwestern has three seniors, and Falzon is a starter.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Olah leads balanced Northwestern past UMass-Lowell 79-57
Olah has double-double, paces balanced scoring attack as Northwestern beats UMass-Lowell 79-57
By JEFF ARNOLD
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - As a senior, Northwestern's Alex Olah understands the need to produce.
The 7-foot center didn't waste any time in getting to work.
Olah scored 21 points with 12 rebounds, and Aaron Falzon scored 20 points as Northwestern beat UMass-Lowell 79-57 on Friday.
After struggling to find an offensive rhythm early on, the Wildcats used a solid second half to pull away after trailing at halftime.
Olah, a native of Timisoara, Romania, played a major role.
''In the second half, we said, `We have to go and win this game' and everybody jumped on board,'' said Olah, who also had two blocked shots.
Olah paced a balanced Wildcats scoring attack that included four players reaching double figures. Bryant McIntosh scored 12 points to go along with 10 from Tre Demps for Northwestern.
UMass-Lowell was led by freshman Isaac White, who scored 15 points. Tyler Livingston scored nine points for the River Hawks.
Northwestern trailed by as many as nine in the first half. But the Wildcats started the second half on a 13-5 run, gaining confidence as their shooting improved.
A Demps 3-point field goal gave Northwestern a 38-35 lead less than two minutes into the second half, putting the Wildcats up for good.
The Wildcats connected on 58.6 percent of their shots in the second half when they outscored the River Hawks 43-32.
Once the Wildcats started to see shots drop, their energy picked up and gradually drained the River Hawks' energy as the second half went on.
''Our guys responded with a really good second half,'' Northwestern coach Chris Collins said.
''We wore them down a little bit. They got a little tired.''
UMass-Lowell got to within 55-50 with 9:08 remaining on a Livingston 3-pointer. But McIntosh and Nathan Taphorn connected on back-to-back baskets beyond the arc to extend Northwestern's lead to double digits. Unlike in the first half when they took advantage of the Wildcats' offensive struggles, the River Hawks didn't have an answer.
''I liked the first half a lot better than the second half,'' UMass-Lowell coach Pat Duquette said. ''Our guys played really hard. Physically, we were outmatched in every position. They were strong and we got hurt on the boards, but we really battled.''
UMass-Lowell led 34-32 at halftime despite failing to hit a field goal for the first 7:35 of the first half. Despite their cold start, the River Hawks shot 45.8 percent from the field and connected on 5 of 13 3-point attempts in the first half.
But the River Hawks couldn't keep up the pace in the second half when U-Mass Lowell hit only 7 of 32 field goal attempts, giving Northwestern the opportunity to pull away.
Despite the 22-point victory, Collins knows his team needs to build off of its second-half turnaround heading into the rest of the season.
''We have a long way to go,'' Collins said. ''We're not a finished product.''
LONG-DISTANCE TURN-AROUND: Northwestern missed 12 of its first 13 3-point field goal attempts before finishing the game 9 of 29.
FIRST TIME OUT: Northwestern freshman Aaron Falzon was 8 of 11 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3-point range, impressing Collins. But the first-year player still has a ways to go, Collins said. ''He's still not as good of a shooter as me,'' Collins said.
STILL INVOLVED: Sophomore forward Vic Law will undergo surgery next week for a torn labrum in his left shoulder that will force him to miss the season. Law was on Northwestern's bench for Friday's season opener and was a vocal participant.
YOUTH MOVEMENT: White, UMass-Lowell's freshman guard, paced the River Hawks offense with 15 points on 3 of 5 shooting from 3-point range. UMass-Lowell was one of four teams in the country last season to have two freshmen lead them in scoring.
UMass-Lowell hosts Sacred Heart on Wednesday.
Northwestern hosts Fairfield on Wednesday.