CHICAGO (AP) No. 25 Northwestern struggled to find the touch against DePaul coming off a stunning loss. The Wildcats settled into a rhythm in the second half and made enough shots down the stretch to secure a victory they sorely needed.

Nick Martinelli scored 16 points and Northwestern bounced back to beat DePaul 56-46 on Saturday.

Ryan Langborg added 14 points, Brooks Barnhizer and Boo Buie each had 11 and the Wildcats (8-2) came away with the win after getting surprised at home by Chicago State on Wednesday night.

“Everybody gets kicked to the pavement,” coach Chris Collins said. “Everybody has a tough moment in whatever you do. It’s how you bounce back.”

The loss to Chicago State was one of those moments for a team that knocked off then-No. 1 Purdue less than two weeks earlier. The victory over the Boilermakers helped push the Wildcats into the Top 25. The loss to Chicago State will likely make it a one-week stay.

Northwestern got all it could handle from DePaul before taking control in the second half and sending the Blue Demons (2-8) to their sixth loss in seven games.

“I think we're at a good spot,” Barnhizer said. “I think that we're kind of getting back to who we were last year, and that's relying on our defense. There are gonna be nights when our shots don't fall. The difference between tonight and the game with Chicago State was we just played defense.”

Martinelli carried Northwestern in the first half with 12 points. Langborg made four 3-pointers in the game.

Barnhizer found his rhythm after scoring one point and missing all seven shots in the first half. He finished 4 of 13 from the field and made two 3-pointers.

Boo Buie, averaging 18.9 points coming in, was 4 of 14 with five rebounds and four assists. He also committed three turnovers.

Northwestern shot just 36%, but made enough plays to beat DePaul for the sixth time in the past seven games.

Jeremiah Oden led DePaul with 12 points. The Blue Demons dropped their eighth straight against Top 25 teams.

“I thought our guys were really locked in defensively against a very good Northwestern team, a very well coached team, a very experienced team, and I thought our guys really competed tonight," coach Tony Stubblefield said. "It’s just one of those nights when we couldn’t buy a basket.”


Collins called the loss to Chicago State “a reality check" that showed the Wildcats can beat the best - and lose to anyone.

“We're just a team that's trying to figure things out,” he said. “We've played 10 games. You can say that a million times - how does the best NFL team lose to the worst NFL team? It happens. How does a 16 seed beat a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament? These are college kids. It happens.”


Northwestern was up 37-34 with just under 13 minutes remaining when Barnhizer made a 3 and drove for a layup after picking off a pass to make to spark a 13-4 run.

Buie hit a step-back 3 and Martinelli made a runner during that spurt. Barnhizer nailed another 3 to make it 50-38 with just over six minutes remaining, and the Wildcats remained in control the rest of the way.


Northwestern: The Wildcats won a road game as a ranked team for the first time since 1969, though their stay in the Top 25 figures to be a short one.

DePaul: It was more of the same for the Blue Demons, who were unable to put together back-to-back wins after beating Louisville. They are 27-47 in two-plus seasons under coach Tony Stubblefield.


Northwestern: The Wildcats play Arizona State in Phoenix on Wednesday night.

DePaul: The Blue Demons open Big East play with a home game against Villanova on Dec. 23.


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