Nam Y. Huh, Associated Press
Northwestern's Luka Mirkovic (12) drives to the basket as Illinois' Meyers Leonard defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

EVANSTON, Ill. — Myke Henry made one of two free throws with 6 seconds left and Meyers Leonard blocked a shot just before the buzzer as Illinois pulled out a 57-56 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Leonard hit a free throw with 29 seconds left to put the Illini up 56-54, but Northwestern's Drew Crawford tied it on a tip with 17 seconds remaining.

After Brandon Paul drove but couldn't connect, Henry was fouled on a rebound follow-up. He made one free throw but missed the second.

Crawford rebounded and tried to drive the length of the floor, but the 7-foot-1 Leonard swatted the shot away.

Leonard led the Illini (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) with 12 points. Paul and Joseph Bertrand added 10 each.

Shurna, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 18.6 for Northwestern (11-4, 1-2), had 17 first-half points but just the three in the second under tough defense from Paul.