That’s how long Friday’s game between the Northwestern Wildcats (4-2) and the Sacred Heart Pioneers (2-4) was tied before Northwestern took the lead and never looked backed en route to an 81-50 victory at Allstate Arena.
Scottie Lindsey led the way for Northwestern with 19 points and 6 rebounds, while Vic Law and Dererk Pardon contributed 15 and 11 points of their own. Bryant McIntosh was notably quiet on the night with only 9 points and 6 assists. Overall, Northwestern moved the ball well, assisting on its first 13 field goals and forced 23 turnovers on the day.
Sacred Heart got 13 points from Joseph Lopez, but on 5-of-11 shooting and not much else individually. Despite shooting 42.5 percent from the field, the Pioneers simply turned over the ball too much to be competitive.
After a horrendous start last time out against Texas Tech, Northwestern got off to a scorching start against Sacred Heart. The Wildcats opened with an 8-0 run and quickly had an 13-3 lead within the first four minutes of the game. The offense was getting the job done shooting 50 percent from the field while the defense had forced 5 turnovers in the first 7 possessions.
Sacred Heart managed to cut the deficit to just 4 thanks to a 7-0 run from center Joseph Lopez and only trailed 16-12 at the under 12. A Sean Hoehn three-pointer made it 16-15 and gave Sacred Heart a 10-0 run. A Dererk Pardon alley-oop on the other end stopped the bleeding, and a Gavin Skelly corner three put the Wildcats up 21-17.
Still the Pioneers hung around and with seven minutes left in the first half it was only 24-19 Northwestern.
But a quick 5-0 run out of the media timeout, highlighted by a turnaround corner three from Skelly, quickly caused a Sacred Heart timeout at 29-21. For the next five minutes the two teams essentially traded baskets and with two minutes left Northwestern led 37-28.
The highlights of the final two minutes was a vicious one-handed putback slam from Pardon and a buzzer beating floater from Bryant McIntosh for his first points of the game. Despite a bit of a scare Northwestern took a 43-31 lead into halftime.
Northwestern essentially put the game away in the first six minutes of the second half as they ripped off a 16-5 run. With the Wildcats leading 59-41 at the under-12 the game was all but over.
Over the next seven minutes of game time, 10 total points were scored, all for Northwestern. After an Alex Watson three pointer made it 59-41 Northwestern, Sacred Heart went 8:17 without scoring and the Wildcats expanded the lead to 73-41. A Lopez free throw mercifully ended the drought with 3:41 left in the game. Still, the Pioneers went an astounding 9:38 without a field goal.
It was as easy of a win as you’ll ever see for Northwestern, as the Pioneers only scored 19 points in second half and Northwestern coasted to a 81-50 victory. It was a nice response after the drubbing the Wildcats received at the hands of Texas Tech on Sunday.
Northwestern’s next game is Tuesday at McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.