College Hoops

NU Wins Fifth Straight, Advances to Cancun Challenge Championship

NU Wins Fifth Straight, Advances to Cancun Challenge Championship

CANCÚN, Mexico – Northwestern outscored Liberty by 15 points in the second half to down the Flames 66-52 in the Cancun Challenge on Tuesday night and advance to the championship game of the MTE. The Wildcats will take on No. 13 Auburn tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. CT in the first meeting between the two programs on CBS Sports Network.

Chase Audige chipped in a team-high 20 points (7-of-11 FG, 3-of-5 3P), five assists and two steals, while Ty Berry tallied 19 points (2-of-3 3P, 7-of-7 FT), seven rebounds and four steals to help the Wildcats improve to 5-0 this year.

Northwestern won the turnover battle 11-6 in the first half and 18-13 in the game. The ‘Cats had 13 steals in the game, including eight in the first half, compared to just five by Liberty.

The Northwestern defense held Liberty shooters to only 34 percent from the field, including 30 percent from three-point range.

How It Happened

After falling behind 27-15, Northwestern went on a 10-0 run with 4:53 left in the first half, culminating in a bucket from Berry, to narrow its deficit to 27-25. The Wildcats continued to close the gap, cutting the Liberty lead to 29-28 by the end of the first half.

Liberty kept widening its lead after intermission, building a 35-32 advantage before Northwestern went on a 10-0 run, finished off a Robbie Beran jumper, to seize a 42-35 lead with 11:11 to go in the contest. The Wildcats coasted the rest of the way for the 66-52 win. Northwestern capitalized on seven Liberty turnovers in the period, collecting 13 points off those turnovers.

Game Notes

» The Wildcats held the Flames to only 34 percent shooting from the field.
» Northwestern had a 33-29 edge on the boards.
» NU improved to 3-0 all-time against Liberty.
» NU outscored Liberty 38-23 in the second half.
» The Northwestern defense forced 18 turnovers.
» Northwestern got a game-high seven rebounds from both Robbie Beran and Ty Berry.

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