Northeastern’s resounding 74–62 vic­tory over con­fer­ence foe­Vir­ginia Com­mon­wealthon­Sat­urday after­noon­pushed the Huskies’ win­ning streak to 11 games, thethird longest cur­rent streak in the nation and the program’s longest since an 11-​​game roll during the 1986–87 season.

Coaches and players attrib­uted the team’s recent suc­cess to a renewed sense of urgency on the defen­sive side of the ball. The Huskies have allowed fewer than 55 points per game during their win­ning streak. Over the first nine games of the season, North­eastern sur­ren­dered more than 68 points per game.

Our defense is 10 times better than it was at the begin­ning of the season,” says senior for­ward and team cap­tain Matt Jan­ning. Jan­ning is aver­aging a team-​​high 16.1 points per game. “We’ve put pres­sure on every team we’ve played over the last few weeks. We’re putting pres­sure on the guards and it’s leading to offense.”

After starting December with five losses in a row, North­eastern found the win column for the first time in nearly a month on Christmas Day, defeating Southern Methodist Uni­ver­sity in a con­so­la­tion game of the Hawaiian Air­lines Dia­mond Head Classic in Honolulu.

The Huskies (13–7) haven’t lost since. And their impres­sive play is catching the atten­tion of local sports writers, including Boston Globe sports colum­nist Bob Ryan.

Right now the stan­dard bearers for local Divi­sion 1 col­lege bas­ket­ball are North­eastern and Har­vard. How about that?” he wrote last Monday in a Boston​.com blog post.

The Huskies are deter­mined to reach the National Col­le­giate Ath­letic Asso­ci­a­tion Tour­na­ment this year. Last year, North­eastern beat Wyoming in the first round of the Col­lege Bas­ket­ball Invi­ta­tional before suc­cumbing to the Uni­ver­sity of Texas at El Paso.

Coach Bill Coen hopes this year’s squad can build on last season’s success.

I have a tremen­dous group of young men who are focused on the task at hand,” he says. “They go out and com­pete every day and do the best they can.”

Jan­ning set his sights on the NCAA Tour­na­ment even before his club started reeling off vic­tory after vic­tory. The team won only two of its first nine games, but, says Jan­ning, “I kept telling family and friends that we would bounce back. The NCAA [tour­na­ment] is the only place we want to end up and we def­i­nitely have the group of players to do it.”

The Huskies go for 12 straight wins when they take onDrexel onWednesday at7 p.m. at Matthews Arena.