Fittest loser
Article updated: 12/22/2012 8:45 PM

Washington defeats Northern Illinois 67-57

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By Associated Press

SEATTLE -- C.J. Wilcox scored 22 points to lead Washington to a 67-57 win over Northern Illinois on Saturday afternoon.

Wilcox topped the 20-point mark for the seventh time in eight games. Aziz N'Diaye added 13 points and 12 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season.

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Washington led 36-25 at halftime.

Sophomore Abdel Nader came off the bench to lead Northern Illinois (2-9) with 18 points, while Keith Gray added 10.

Troubled by inconsistent play during the nonconference portion of its schedule, Washington (8-4) has now won four straight games.

Washington grabbed its largest lead -- by 15 points -- midway through the second half. But Northern Illinois refused to concede, and cut the deficit to eight with under 3 minutes to play. Nader was a key player in the comeback, scoring 13 of his points after halftime.

Washington aided the comeback with sloppy play on the offensive end, committing eight turnovers. Guard Abdul Gaddy had three of those, but he also added 12 points and six assists.

Despite shooting just 31.6 percent from the field for the game, Washington helped itself by going 12 of 24 from the free-throw line. Northern Illinois attempted just 11 free throws.

Washington looked like it was going to run away with the game early, using a 13-2 run to put it ahead 23-12 with 7:28 left in the first half, but Northern Illinois stormed back to bring it within six points, 31-25. Washington scored the next six to go into halftime with a 36-25 advantage.

Washington's next game is Dec. 29 at Connecticut, while Northern Illinois returns home to face Massachusetts, also on Dec. 29.

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