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    Balanced Effort Leads Wildcats Past Delta Devils, 86-64

    Dec. 16, 2013

    Northwestern Northwestern 86, Mississippi Valley State 64
    Welsh-Ryan Arena • Evanston, Ill.

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    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Drew Crawford scored a season-high 26 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists and Northwestern methodically pulled away from Mississippi Valley State for an 86-64 win at Welsh-Ryan Arena Monday evening.

    Tre Demps (18) and Sanjay Lumpkin (13) each posted career-best point totals, while Alex Olah matched his (18). Lumpkin added 10 rebounds to join Crawford in recording a double-double.

    The Wildcats looked to establish Olah in the post early on in the contest before Crawford took charge, scoring eight points over the first six minutes of play as NU used a 9-1 run to take a 14-9 lead.

    The Northwestern advantage was 18-16 when 3-pointers by freshmen Lumpkin and Nathan Taphorn spurred a 10-2 surge by the 'Cats that gave them a 28-18 advantage with 8:45 to go in the opening half.

    Crawford, Demps and Olah each had the hot hand over the first 20 minutes of play as the lead grew to 39-23 following a running hook by Olah with 3:18 to go. The Delta Devils trimmed their deficit to 10 before a triple by Crawford with five seconds left pushed the lead to 13. However, DeAngelo Priar banked in a half-court shot at the buzzer making it 44-34 at the intermission.

    Crawford paced Northwestern with 13 first-half points while Olah and Demps contributed 11 and 10, respectively, as the Wildcats shot 56.3 percent (18-32) from the field as a team.

    A pair of 3-pointers by Cameron Dobbs early in the second half kept MVSU within striking distance as the Wildcats struggled to distance themselves from the Delta Devils. Through the opening nine minutes of the stanza, NU never led by less than nine but never more than 13.

    Two free throws by Dave Sobolewski pushed the Northwestern advantage to 70-54 with 7:06 remaining, finally giving the 'Cats a bit of breathing room. The visitors closed to within 13 on pair of occasions, but that was as close as they would get as the Wildcats pulled away down the stretch.

    NU shot 53.7 percent (29-54) from the field in the contest while holding Mississippi Valley State to 36.2 percent (21-58). Olah swatted four shots to go along with his seven rebounds. James Currington led the Delta Devils with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

    The Wildcats return to action at 1 p.m. Sunday when they host Brown on Take a Kid to a Game Day. Each paid adult can receive two tickets for kids in the 8th grade and under for free. Tickets must be purchased on the day of the game.

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