CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Reggie Hearn scored 20 points and Northwestern built an early lead using 3-point shooting to hand No. 23 Illinois its third straight loss, 68-54 on Thursday night.
Illinois has lost five of seven after starting 12-0.
The Wildcats (11-7, 2-3 Big Ten) were 8 of 15 from 3-point range but hit five of those shots in the first half to build a 36-21 lead.
The cold-shooting Illini (14-5, 1-4) closed within 48-39 on a free throw by Brandon Paul with 4:36 to play. Illinois would get no closer.
Jared Swopshire had 12 points and six rebounds for Northwestern, while Alex Marcotullio scored 12 points and Dave Sobolewski added 10.
Paul had 21 points for Illinois, which shot 38 percent from the field, including 15 percent from 3-point range.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Donna Vancil at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.