Dec. 2, 2011
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Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
Score: Northwestern 92, Mississippi Valley State 67
Records: Northwestern (7-0), Mississippi Valley State (1-7)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Dec. 4 vs. No. 7 Baylor Evanston, Ill. 3 p.m.
Tickets: Available at NUsports.com
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Behind a school-record-tying 20 3-pointers and 59 first-half points, Northwestern cruised to a 92-67 victory over Mississippi Valley State Friday night in Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The 20 makes from downtown matches the team record set on Dec. 13, 2009 against North Carolina A&T, while the team's 30 assists ranks only second all-time to the 32-assist effort against Benedictine (Ill.) on Nov. 20, 2007.
Senior Nick Fruendt led Northwestern with a career-best 21 points, shooting 4-5 from behind the arc, while adding six rebounds. Paul Crosby's game-high 23 points steered the Delta Devils, who scored 46 of their 67 points in the second half.
Reggie Hearn tallied 15 points and team-high seven rebounds, while Luka Mirkovic added 11 points to the Wildcat cause. Alex Marcotullio led the squad with seven assists.
Paced by Drew Crawford with 14 first-half points, the Wildcats jumped out to a big lead early on the Delta Devils. John Shurna, who finished with nine points in just 11 minutes of action, kicked things off with two quick 3-pointers in the game's opening minutes, beginning an onslaught of trey for the `Cats.
After an initial 21-4 run by Northwestern, Crawford went on a tear, knocking down 14 of Northwestern's 17 points to extend the lead to 25 at the seven-and-a-half minute mark. The junior forward put an exclamation point on NU's run with a monster block, leading to a Dave Sobolewski three from the top of the key.
From there, the Wildcat defense took control, holding MVSU scoreless for more than seven minutes. The Delta Devils attempted a run of their own down the stretch, matching the `Cats bucket-for-bucket, but NU continued to rain down 3-pointers, eventually taking their 12-for-19 effort from behind the arc into the lockerroom up 59-21 at the break.
Northwestern shot 68.6 percent from the field (22-32) over the opening 20 minutes of play.
With a big contest against No. 7 Baylor looming on Sunday, head coach Bill Carmody rested the majority of his starters in the second half as Shurna, Crawford, Mirkovic and Sobolewski never saw the court.
After halftime, the shots continued to fall early for Northwestern. Fruendt scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half, but his 3-pointer with one minute remaining made it 20 threes for NU, tying the school record.
MVSU was able to make the score more respectable down the stretch as the Wildcats showed mercy by emptying their bench for extended minutes.
Northwestern and Baylor tip off at 3 p.m. Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
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