It often wasn’t pretty, but Northwestern emerged victorious Wednesday in their last non-conference game by beating the Chicago State Cougars 75-63 in Evanston. Communication senior Craig Moore led Northwestern with 19 points. Weinberg freshman John Shurna also made a significant contribution with four 3-pointers and 18 points overall — Shurna’s highest point total since he scored 20 back in December against the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
The ‘Cats, now 13-7 overall and 4-5 in the Big Ten, often had trouble matching up against the athletic Cougars. Chicago State wowed the crowd with several dunks and blocks and managed to head into the locker room down by just six.
But Northwestern’s defense always kept the Cougars from getting too close and that, along with the ‘Cats advantage in the 3-point battle, provided the margin of victory. SESP junior Jeremy Nash in particular was a huge pest for the Cougars, stealing the ball a season high seven times. The Wildcats held the Cougars to just 13 percent shooting at 3-point range.
In contrast, Northwestern shot 44 percent from behind the arc, making 12 3-pointers to Chicago State’s two. Early in the second half Shurna made four straight 3-pointers to push the Wildcats’ lead to double digits. But Shurna was hardly the only ‘Cat hot from 3-point land. SESP senior Craig Moore added five 3-pointers and Weinberg sophomore Michael Thompson, Weinberg junior Kevin Coble and Nash also connected from long distances. Nash attempted three total 3-pointers, as he continues to get more and more confidant shooting the ball with each game.
Senior John Cantrell was Chicago State’s leading scorer with 29 points.
The ‘Cats will attempt to reach the .500 mark in conference play when they battle Iowa on the road Saturday evening.