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Updated: Friday, March 14, 2003 11:12 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(13) Illinois 94, Northwestern 65
NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
Northwestern Wildcats
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ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois Fighting Illini
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CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Brian Cook had 20 points and 12 rebounds as No. 13 Illinois rolled to a 94-65 rout of Northwestern in the Big Ten Conference quarterfinals.

Cook scored 12 of his points in the first half when the Fighting Illini (22-6) built a 26-point lead.

"I thought we played well," Illinois coach Bill Self said. "The first half, we executed and guarded them well. Our guys came out focused and ready to go. We started off making some shots and that gave us some confidence."

Illinois shot 64.5 percent (20-of-31) in the first half on the way to a 52 percent (30-of-58) performance for the game.

The Wildcats (12-17), who knocked off Minnesota in the opening round of the tournament on Thursday, took a 7-5 lead on Mohamed Hachad's jump shot 3:27 into the game. It was the only lead they'd have.

"I don't know if guys were tired," said Northwestern guard T.J. Parker, who had 11 points. "I don't think it made a difference."

The Illini went on a 25-4 run over the next 9:25 until Dee Brown hit a 3-pointer to give Illinois a 32-11 advantage. Northwestern never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way.

"I thought size was a major factor," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "They have tall guys that can score and we didn't have an answer for it."

Roger Powell added 14 points for Illinois, which will meet Indiana in Saturday's semifinal after the Hoosiers defeated Michigan, 63-56.

Davor Duvancic led the Wildcats with 20 points off the bench.

Northwestern shot just 29.5 percent (18-of-61) from the floor and 27 percent (7-of-26) on 3-pointers. Evan Seacat was the only player to hit more than one 3-pointer for the Wildcats, scoring all six of his points on 2-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.

The Illini had a considerably easier time against the Wildcats than they did in their last meeting, on February 22 at the United Center. Illinois won that game 73-61, but not before enduring some tense moments late in the second half.

"We knew Northwestern was a capable team," Brown said. "We wanted to go out and make shots to get confidence. For the most part I thought we played pretty well."

Illinois held a 41-35 rebounding advantage.


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