EVANSTON — There is no doubt in coach Chris Collins’ mind that he has one of the Big Ten’s best players in Bryant McIntosh.
On nights like this, it’s hard to argue.
McIntosh scored 28 points to lead Northwestern to a rare win over Wisconsin, 70-65, on Tuesday night.
McIntosh scored all but eight of his points in the second half as the Wildcats (15-3, 3-2 Big Ten) beat the Badgers (9-9, 1-4) for just the third time in 17 games.
“He was just magnificent,” Collins said. “Forget about guards, he’s one of the best players in the Big Ten. You ask coaches in this league, this kid is an elite, elite player.”
Northwestern went on run midway through the second half to grab a seven-point lead and hung on for its second straight win after back-to-back losses to Maryland and Ohio State. Wisconsin dropped its third in a row and is struggling, with Greg Gard trying to land the head coaching job after getting it on an interim basis following Bo Ryan’s retirement last month.
“I’m extremely (ticked) right now with the way things are going,” the Badgers’ Nigel Hayes said after scoring 17 points. “Got to push the guys and guys will push me. We’ll start to do things the right way and get some wins.”
McIntosh, the lone Wildcat to score in double figures, did a little bit of everything with four rebounds and five assists. The point guard hit three runners while scoring eight points in the game’s first four minutes and started looking for his shot again in the second half after he tried to get his teammates going.
Another big key for the Wildcats was a 34-25 rebounding edge. Their work on the glass helped them come away with the win even though they hit just 4 of 12 3-pointers with Wisconsin guarding them tight on the perimeter.
That left the inside open and Northwestern took advantage, outscoring the Badgers 30-18 in the paint while handing them their third straight loss.
“We aren’t a one-dimensional team,” McIntosh said. “We find other ways to win.”
That’s exactly what the knock on the Wildcats is, though — take away the 3 and they won’t win. It didn’t play out that way on Tuesday.
“A lot of people don’t think we can win without making 3s, but I guess we can,” Collins said.
Hayes had six rebounds and six assists for the Badgers. Ethan Happ scored 12, but Wisconsin again came up short after losing by three to Maryland on a last-second 3-pointer by Melo Trimble on Saturday.
No. 7 Xavier 84, DePaul 64
CINCINNATI — Trevon Bluiett scored a career-high 24 points — 19 in the first half — and No. 7 Xavier took advantage of open shots on the perimeter while pulling away to an 84-64 victory over DePaul on Tuesday night.
Xavier (15-1, 3-1 Big East) led most of the way as Bluiett got his shooting touch early, making his first four shots from beyond the arc. He tied his career high with five 3-pointers on 11 attempts. The Musketeers made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
Myke Henry scored 16 points for DePaul (6-11, 0-5), which dropped its fifth straight game.
Myles Davis had 14 points and seven assists for the Musketeers, who had four double-figure scorers.
Xavier forward Jalen Reynolds didn’t start a 74-66 win at St. John’s on Wednesday because coach Chris Mack was unhappy with his conduct during practice. He was back in the lineup on Tuesday and had six points and seven rebounds.
Point guard Edmond Sumner was in uniform and warmed up before the game, the first time he had done that since he fell hard on the court and suffered a concussion at Villanova on Dec. 31. He has missed three games, with Xavier showing its depth and versatility in his absence.
Bluiett made his first four 3-point attempts, including one when he came off a pick and did a catch-and-shoot. Rashaun Stimage fouled him on another attempt, and Bluiett made all three free throws as Xavier pulled ahead 18-8. The Musketeers made six of their first 10 shots from beyond the arc.
After DePaul cut it the lead to two points, Davis hit two 3s — one while falling backward — during a 10-point spurt that made it 28-16, Xavier’s biggest lead of the first half. The Musketeers led 41-31 at the break.
Xavier got so many open shots on the perimeter because the Blue Demons packed in their defense to take away the Musketeers’ front-line scoring. Reynolds and James Farr were a combined 1 for 7 in the first half.
J.P. Macura scored 11 points, including two three-point plays, as Xavier built the lead to 18 points early in the second half. Freshman forward Kaiser Gates scored eight of his career-high 11 points in the second half, when Xavier led by as many as 26 points.
No. 11 West Virginia 74, No. 1 Kansas 63
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Jaysean Paige scored 26 points, Devin Williams had 17 points and 12 rebounds, and No. 11 West Virginia beat top-ranked Kansas 74-63 on Tuesday night.
West Virginia (15-1, 4-0 Big 12) is off to its best start since 1982, when it started 24-1.
Perry Ellis scored 21 points for Kansas (14-2, 3-1), which committed a season-high 22 turnovers, shot 42 percent from the field and was held to its lowest point total of the season.
West Virginia led 39-27 at halftime and never let the Jayhawks get closer than six points in the second half.
West Virginia fans stormed the court and sang John Denver’s “Country Roads” after the Mountaineers’ first win over a top-ranked team in 33 years.
Michigan 70, No. 3 Maryland 67
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Zak Irvin scored 22 points for sharp-shooting Michigan, and the Wolverines held on for a 70-67 victory over No. 3 Maryland when Rasheed Sulaimon missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds Tuesday night.
Maryland’s nine-game winning streak came to an end despite 22 points and 11 rebounds from Diamond Stone. Michigan (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) held Maryland’s backcourt duo of Sulaimon and Melo Trimble to 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting.
The Wolverines were without guard Caris LeVert, their leading scorer. The senior missed a third straight game with a lower left leg injury.
Derrick Walton had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines, and Duncan Robinson added 17 points.
Maryland (15-2, 4-1) had been an NCAA-best 15-1 in games decided by six points or fewer since 2014-15.
Nebraska 84, Minnesota 59.
LINCOLN, Neb. — Shavon Shields scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half and Nebraska rolled to an 84-59 win over Minnesota on Tuesday night.
The Cornhuskers’ 25-point margin of victory is their largest against Minnesota in a 64-game series that dates to 1902.
Andrew White III added 15 points for Nebraska (10-8, 2-3 Big Ten).
Jordan Murphy led Minnesota (6-11, 0-5) with 12 points. Joey King chipped in 10 points.
Nebraska trailed 8-4 early then solved the Minnesota zone with a 29-4 run. The Cornhuskers went up 10 on Shields’ layup off an over-the-head assist from Glynn Watson Jr. with 9:45 left, and took a 33-12 lead on Michael Jacobson’s free throws with 6:29 remaining in the half.
Nebraska scored 12 of its first-half points off nine Minnesota turnovers, and outrebounded the Gophers 22-9 in the period.
Northern Illinois 71, Toledo 66
TOLEDO, Ohio — Chuks Iroegbu’s layup with a minute to go gave Northern Illinois the lead and started a run of eight straight points by the Huskies in a 71-66 victory over Toledo on Tuesday night.
After Iroegbu’s basket, Marshawn Wilson scored on a breakaway dunk off an inbounds play and Travon Baker and Laytwan Porter added two free throws each. The last six points came during a span when Toledo’s Jonathan Williams was charged with three turnovers.
Baker finished with 23 points and Wilson had 10. Marin Maric added 16 points and 12 rebounds for his seventh double-double this season as the Huskies (14-2, 3-0 Mid-American) won their seventh straight game.
Nathan Boothe scored a career-high 30 points with Williams adding 21 for the Rockets (10-6, 1-2).
Toledo came in ranked second in the MAC in 3-point shooting percentage at 42.3, but made only 5 of 18 for 27.8 percent against the Huskies.
Southern Illinois 81, Illinois State 78
CARBONDALE — Leo Vincent scored a career-high 24 points, including the winning 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, to help Southern Illinois rally from a 12-point, second-half deficit and beat Illinois State 81-78 Tuesday night.
Illinois State (9-9, 3-2 Missouri Valley Conference) led 56-44 with 15 minutes to play.
An 11-2 run pulled Southern Illinois (15-3, 4-1) within three about 2 ½ minutes later.
Illinois State’s Deontae Hawkins made a layup to make it 72-68 with 4:15 left, but Mike Rodriguez had five points as the Salukis scored eight in a row to take a four-point lead with 1:29 left.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell converted a 3-point play and, after Vincent made two free throws, Hawkins hit a 3 to tie it at 78 with 55 seconds remaining — setting up Vincent’s winner.
Paris Lee missed a potential tying 3 on the other end.
Vincent hit a career-high six of his seven 3-point shots.
MiKyle McIntosh, who scored a career-high 20 in Illinois State’s loss to Indiana State on Saturday, scored 25.