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    Northwestern Cruises to 81-51 Win Over Texas Southern

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Drew Crawford scored 17 points and dished out five assists for the Wildcats.
    Drew Crawford scored 17 points and dished out five assists for the Wildcats.

    Dec. 15, 2011

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    Site: Evanston, Ill. (Welsh-Ryan Arena)
    Score: Northwestern 81, Texas Southern 51
    Records: NU (8-1), Texas Southern (1-7)
    Next NU Event: Saturday, Dec. 17 -- vs. Central Connecticut State, 1 p.m.

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern surged out to an early 23-3 lead and never looked back, defeating Texas Southern 81-51 Thursday evening. John Shurna led the Wildcats with 20 points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

    With the victory, NU's senior class earned its 65th career victory, matching the school record first established by last year's group.

    Despite playing a game for the first time in 11 days due to final exams, NU showed no signs of rust early on. Tied at 3-3, the 'Cats rattled off 20 consecutive points. Crawford had the hot hand in the opening minutes, scoring eight of the team's first 11 points.

    The lead would reach as many as 21 points, 28-7, just over midway through the stanza before the Tigers' zone defense began to give Northwestern some issues. Texas Southern crept back to within 32-20 with 2:48 remaining before the intermission.

    However, the Wildcats scored the final nine points of the period to match their largest lead at 41-20 going into the break.

    A quick 7-2 run to start the second half, highlighted by an alley-oop slam by Crawford off a lob from Shurna quickly extended NU's advantage to 26.

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    The Wildcats got solid contributions across the board in the contest. Crawford scored 17 points while matching Shurna's five assists. Dave Sobolewski also knocked down a career-best five 3-pointers in scoring 15 points, while JerShon Cobb returned from missing the last three games due to injury and pitched in 10 points off the bench.

    Northwestern's lead grew to as many as 32 points in the contest as the 'Cats shot 47.5 percent from the field (29-61), while limiting the Tigers to 36.2 percent shooting (17-47). NU knocked down 13 3-pointers in the contest and dished out 24 assists while forcing 21 turnovers which they turned into 26 points.

    The Wildcats didn't allow a Texas Southern player to reach double figures in scoring as Patrick Onwenu led the Tigers with nine points.

    Northwestern returns to action at 1 p.m. Saturday as it hosts Central Connecticut State. Tickets are available at or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE. Evanston Day discounted tickets are only available in advance of game day. Evanston residents should call 888-GO-PURPLE for more information.


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