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Illinois St. holds off Northwestern 68-64

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JACK MCCARTHY | November 17, 2013 11:05 PM EST | AP


EVERSTON, Ill. (AP) — Freshman Tony Wills hit two free throws with 5.9 seconds left as Illinois State held off a late Northwestern comeback to secure a 68-64 non-conference victory on Sunday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Teammates Zach Lofton and Daishon Knight led a balanced attack with 15 points apiece while John Jones had 11, Reggie Lynch added 10 and Michael Middlebrooks collected 11 rebounds.

The Redbirds (1-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and won for the third time in the five meetings with the Wildcats.

Northwestern (1-2) rallied from a 19-point second half deficit and trailed 66-64 after JerShon Cobb's jumper with 8.2 seconds to play. But Wills locked down the win seconds later with his free throws.

Cobb closed with 19 points, and Drew Crawford had 13 while Tre Demps added 12.