Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern rally past Rutgers, 69-65

Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern rally past Rutgers, 69-65

(AP) Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points and hit a go-ahead 3 with under a minute remaining as Northwestern held off last-place Rutgers 69-65 on Saturday to kept its hopes alive for its first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Dererk Pardon added 12 points for the Wildcats (20-7, 9-5 Big Ten), who matched their school record for victories in a season.

Corey Sanders led Rutgers (13-15, 2-13) with 17 points and Nigel Johnson had 16. Eugene Omoruyi and C.J. Gettys added 10 apiece for the Scarlett Knights, who have the second-longest NCAA Tournament drought among Power 5 conference teams. They haven’t made the tournament since 1991.

McIntosh hit a 3 with 58.4 seconds left to give Northwestern a 65-63 lead, the Wildcats’ first since they were ahead 43-41. He then made the second of two free throws with 13 seconds remaining before Vic Law stole the ball from Sanders. Law made one of two foul shots before Sanders hit a layup for a two-point game with 3.2 seconds remaining. Northwestern’s Isiah Brown made two free throws to cap the victory.

Leading scorer Scottie Lindsey scored six points in his return to Northwestern’s starting lineup after he missed the previous four games due to mononucleosis. The Wildcats lost three of those games.

Northwestern also won 20 games last season, 2010-11 and 2009-10.

Rutgers went on a 9-1 run to take a 49-44 lead with 11:38 remaining. McIntosh’s jumper with 10:08 left was Northwestern’s first field goal in in more than seven minutes and cut its deficit to 49-46. Sanders hit a jumper and Johnson added a free throw for a 52-46 lead.

Northwestern was coming off a 74-64 loss to No. 23 Maryland on Wednesday after the Wildcats boosted their tournament hopes by upsetting then-No. 7 Wisconsin 66-59 on Sunday in Madison.