Cats roll over Brown in final tune-up

EVANSTON, Ill.-Big runs to begin both halves and solid 3-point shooting led Northwestern to a solid 63-42 victory over Brown Sunday afternoon at Welsh-Ryan Arena in the Wildcats' final nonconference game of the regular season.
Dave Sobolewski paced a balanced scoring attack with 14 points -- all in the second half -- to go along with eight assists. The nation's leader in assist percentage, Northwestern did nothing to hurt that standing on Sunday as it assisted on 21 of its 23 field goals in the contest.
NU came out of the gates on fire, hitting five of its first six 3-point field goal attempts in storming out to a 15-0 lead four minutes and 20 seconds into the contest. Kale Abrahamson hit a pair of triples during the run while Alex Marcotullio and Jared Swopshire made one apiece before Alex Olah beat the shot clock by throwing one up and banking it in.
After falling behind early, Brown did nicely to hold the Wildcats to only 13 more points over the remainder of the half as the Bears closed to within 28-18 at the break. NU held Brown to just 26.9 percent shooting (7-26) in the first half.
The 'Cats quickly put the game out of reach as they began the second half by scoring 10 of the period's first 11 points. Sobolewski was held scoreless in the opening stanza, but scored the final five points of the surge that increased the lead to 19.
Brown was within 43-27 with 12:30 remaining, but Northwestern put the foot on the pedal as it rattled off 17 consecutive points to stretch the advantage to 33 points.
Three-pointers by Sobolewski, Swopshire and Marcotullio followed by a four-point play by Sobolewski capped the run.
Six different Wildcats scored at least eight points in the contest, paced by Sobolewski. Northwestern made 13 3-pointers in the contest, including knocking down 12 of its first 19 attempts from beyond the arch.
Wilmette native Matt Sullivan, who came into the game leading Brown with an average of 16.0 points per game, was held to two points by Swopshire. Sean McGonagill scored nearly half of Brown's points, finishing with a game-high 20.
Northwestern will take 10 days off from competition before returning to action Jan. 3 when open Big Ten play at home against Michigan.