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    First-Half Three-Point Barrage Leads Wildcats Past Huskers, 84-74

    Drew Crawford posted 21 points and four steals in the victory.

    Drew Crawford posted 21 points and four steals in the victory.

    Feb. 2, 2012

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    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: Northwestern 84, Nebraska 74
    Records: NU (13-8, 3-6 Big Ten), Nebraska (11-10, 3-7 Big Ten)
    Next NU Event: Sunday, Feb. 5 -- at Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), 2 p.m.

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern rode red-hot 3-point shooting in the first half and then withstood a Nebraska charge in the second period to post an 84-74 victory at Welsh-Ryan Arena Thursday evening.

    It was the first meeting between the teams since Nebraska joined the Big Ten Conference this season. John Shurna, the Big Ten's leading scorer, posted a game-high 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Drew Crawford added 21. Dave Sobolewski had a solid all-around game with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Davide Curletti dished out a career-high eight assists off the bench.

    Northwestern came out of the gates firing from 3-point range as 10 of the team's first 11 field goal attempts were from beyond the arc. It was Nebraska that held a 21-19 lead, though, following Dylan Talley's trey with 9:38 left in the half.

    However, Shurna answered with a triple of his own and Crawford came up with a steal and a breakaway slam to put the 'Cats up by three. Following a bucket by Jorge Brian Diaz, Northwestern got a pair of 3-pointers from Sobolewski sandwiched around a trey by Shurna pushed the hosts' lead to 33-23 with 3:54 left before the half.

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    In all, the Wildcats ended the stanza on a 22-5 run to take a 41-26 lead at the intermission. Sobolewski's three free throws with two-tenths of a second left gave Northwestern its largest lead. The 'Cats connected on 10 of 21 3-point attempts over the opening 20 minutes of play, surpassing their league-leading average of 8.5 per contest.

    Nebraska scorched the nets to start the second half, as the Huskers made 10 of their first 11 field goal attempts as a 12-1 run cut the Wildcats' lead to 42-38. Brandon Richardson's steal and layup got the visitors to within 54-53 with 10:38 remaining.

    After missing their first seven field goal attempts of the half, Northwestern finally got things going. A trey by Crawford, an old-fashioned three-point play by Shurna and a triple by Reggie Hearn pushed the Wildcats' lead back up to 10, 63-53, with 9:13 left.

    The NU lead was 12 with five minutes left when the Huskers made one final surge. The Wildcats' edge was still nine with three minutes to go when back-to-back 3-pointers by Dylan Talley and Bo Spencer made cut Northwestern's advantage to 75-72 with 1:33 left.

    However, Shurna scored on an up-and-under on the other end, jump-starting an 8-0 run that put the game away.

    Northwestern connected on 24 of 29 free throw attempts compared to just 7-for-9 for Nebraska.

    The Wildcats return to action Sunday when they travel to Champaign to face Illinois. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.


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