COL BKB: Northwestern 68, Illinois 54

Jan. 17, 2013 at 11:29 PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Reggie Hearn led a Northwestern parade to the free-throw line Thursday and the Wildcats surprised No. 22 Illinois 68-54.

The slumping Illini lost their third straight game and all of the setbacks have been by at least 14 points.

Hearn scored 23 points, making 12-of-14 from the foul line. Northwestern was 26-of-31 overall from the charity stripe. The Wildcats built a 15-point halftime lead and stayed comfortably in front throughout the final 20 minutes.

Jared Swopshire and Alex Marcotullio both scored 12 points for Northwestern (11-7, 2-3 Big Ten Conference), which had lost three of its previous four games.

Illinois (14-5, 1-4) was led by Brandon Paul with 21 points.

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