Hot-shooting Northwestern Shocks #10 Illini in Overtime, 96-91

By IlliniGuys Staff

January 24, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

EVANSTON, Ill. - Boo Buie scored a game-high 29 points and added seven assists as Northwestern became the first team to shoot better than 50 percent against Illinois this season as they scored the 96-91 upset in overtime Wednesday night.

The 10th ranked Illini (14-5, 5-3) struggled up close, hitting just 15 of 35 of their layup attempts.  That negated a dominant night on the boards as they outrebounded the Wildcats 46-32, including a 21-7 edge in offensive rebounds.

Northwestern (14-5, 5-3) hit five of seven shots in overtime to build a 10-point lead and then cruise to a victory that gained them a tie for third place in the Big Ten.  They beat a top 10 ranked Illinois team for just the second time ever and the first time since 1956.

The Wildcats shot 55 percent for the game to improve to 5-0 this season when they hit more than half of their field goals as they're turning Welsh-Ryan Arena into a house of horrors for Big Ten visitors this season.  They stunned then-#1 ranked and undefeated Purdue in overtime back on December 1st and upset Michigan State in their trip to Evanston on January 7th.  Northwestern avenged a 96-66 rout by Illinois in Champaign just three weeks earlier.

Coleman Hawkins led the Illini with a season-high 22 points and 13 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.  Quincy Guerrier posted his eighth double-double of the year with 15 points and 13 boards.  Marcus Domask scored 22.

Terrence Shannon Jr. recorded season lows with 10 points and just eight field goal attemps in his second game back from suspension.  In his two seasons with the Illini, they are just 2-4 when the All-Big Ten guard doesn't attempt at least ten shots from the field.

Buie scored a game-best 12 points in the first half, including back-to-back layups in the final minute to cap off Northwestern's 7-0 run to take a 34-32 lead into the break. The Wildcats shot 53 percent from the field in the first half.

Brooks Barnhizer added 23 points, including four of six from the arc, for the Wildcats, who score multiple wins over top 10 teams for the first time in program history.

Illinois returns home to host Indiana on Saturday (2pm, FOX).

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage.

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