Demps, Olah lead Northwestern over Michigan 82-78 in 2OT
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) The way Northwestern was racking up losses not too long ago, it's not hard to see why coach Chris Collins was beaming after the latest victory. And what a wild one it was.
Tre Demps hit tying 3-pointers at the end of regulation and the first OT, Alex Olah scored 25 and Northwestern beat Michigan 82-78 in double overtime Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (15-15, 6-11 Big Ten) wiped out a 12-point deficit in the second half and came away with one wild victory thanks to some huge shots down the stretch by Demps, who finished with 20 points. Olah grabbed 12 rebounds. JerShon Cobb scored 14, and Northwestern won for the fifth time in six games after dropping 10 in a row.
''It's easy to play hard and it's easy to do things when everything's going great,'' Collins said. ''But how are you going to be when things aren't going great? You have to drown out the periphery, that maybe this program isn't going in the right direction and freshmen aren't playing well and all that kind of stuff. We just said relax, we've got a young team. We're gonna keep fighting, and we're gonna turn it around. And that's what those guys have done.''
Zak Irvin scored 28 for Michigan. Aubrey Dawkins added 21 points, but the Wolverines (14-15, 7-10) lost for the seventh time in eight games.
Demps' 3 in the closing seconds of regulation tied it at 59. He had a chance to win it after Michigan committed a turnover on the inbounds but missed a jumper, sending the game it overtime.
He did it again in the first OT, nailing a 3 with about 10 seconds left and then hitting another after a turnover by Michigan on the inbounds.
The tying 3s by Demps at the end of regulation and the first OT came with the Wolverines choosing not to foul.
''Both times, it's my call,'' Michigan coach John Beilein said. ''The first time it was no we weren't going to foul. Work it and make the guy make a tough shot. Maybe it's happened 10 times in my life and probably 30 times where the guy misses the shot. The second time, I said we have to think about this and they said, no, we're not fouling.''
In the second overtime, Northwestern was leading by one before Vic Law hit a 3 and Demps made 1 of 2 free throws with 36 seconds remaining. Irvin answered with a 3 to pull Michigan within two before Bryant McIntosh hit a pair of free throws for the Wildcats with 18 seconds remaining.
Northwestern was leading by five in the first OT when Spike Albrecht and Aubrey Dawkins hit back-to-back 3s to put Michigan on top 68-65 with just over a minute left. Albrecht added two free throws to make it a five-point game with 34 seconds remaining and 1 of 2 with 16 seconds left to make it a six-point game.
Demps nailed a 3 in transition to make it a three-point game with nine seconds left in the first overtime. Northwestern then caught a huge break when a pressured Irvin couldn't handle Albrecht's inbounds. The ball bounced out along the sideline, and Demps buried another one from long range - this time from the left corner - to force the second OT.
''We lost so many games in a row,'' Olah said. ''As soon as we got the taste of winning, guys felt so much better. Now, we just don't want to lose it.''
Michigan: The Wolverines played their 11th straight game without the injured Caris LeVert (left foot) and their ninth in a row without Derrick Walton Jr. (left toe/foot).
Northwestern: Tre Demps needs two points to reach 1,000 for his career. ... Cobb returned after missing six games because of foot and knee injuries.
HE SAID IT
Northwestern senior JerShon Cobb on playing his final home game: ''I'm undefeated on senior night.''
Michigan: Hosts Rutgers on Saturday.
Northwestern: Visits Iowa on Saturday.