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    Crawford's 34 Not Enough as NU Falls at No. 23/21 Creighton

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Drew Crawford's 34 points were one shy of his career high.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Drew Crawford's 34 points were one shy of his career high.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 22, 2011

    Box Score

    Site: Omaha, Neb. (CenturyLink Center)
    Score: #23/21 Creighton 87, Northwestern 79
    Records: NU (10-2), Creighton (10-1)
    Next NU Event: Wednesday, Dec. 28 -- at Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio), 4:30 p.m. CT

    OMAHA, Neb. -- Drew Crawford connected on 13 of 17 field goal attempts and scored a game-high 34 points, but it wasn't enough as No. 23/21 Creighton rode red-hot 3-point shooting down the stretch to top Northwestern 87-79 at CenturyLink Center.

    John Shurna added 18 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals for the Wildcats. Doug McDermott, the nation's second-leading scorer, paced the Bluejays with 27 points.

    Creighton followed the hot hands of McDermott and Gregory Echenique early on as the hosts jumped out to an 8-3. However, the Wildcats more than had the answer in the form of Crawford.

    A pair of jumpers by the junior forward sandwiched a 3-pointer by Davide Curletti as NU tied the game 10-10. A triple by McDermott gave the Bluejays a 17-14 advantage, but Shurna scored and McDermott picked up his second foul with 12:20 remaining, forcing him to the bench for the remainder of the half.

    The score was knotted 25-25 with just under 10 minutes left in the stanza when Crawford scored six points during an 8-0 run for the Wildcats that gave them a 33-25 edge with 5:42 to go, forcing Creighton to burn a timeout.

    However, Northwestern would go into a scoring drought as Antoine Young hit a deuce and then a 3-pointer before Ethan Wragge came off the bench and got loose in the corner, hitting a pair of triples that gave the Bluejays a 36-33 lead.

    Shurna hit a trey of his own to tie the game before Echenique hit one free throw to give the hosts a 37-36 advantage at the break. Crawford went 9-of-11 from the field over the opening 20 minutes of play as he tallied 19 points.

     

     

    A three-point play by Curletti put Northwestern up 42-39 three minutes into the second half, but Crawford was forced to the bench when he picked up his fourth foul with 14:35 left. Creighton would rattle off nine straight points to go up by five.

    NU was within three, but five points by McDermott and a triple by Jahenns Manigat stretched the Bluejays lead up to nine, 58-49, with nine minutes left. NU refused to go away, though. Five points by Crawford keyed a 9-0 run as JerShon Cobb's two free throws knotted the score with 7:29 to go.

    However, Manigat hit a 3-pointer and a four-point play by Wragge pushed the lead right back up to seven with 6:49 remaining. Shurna's trey with 5:57 on the clock got the 'Cats within four, but a basket by Young and triple by McDermott and Josh Jones helped extend Creighton's lead to 10 with 4:35 left and the 'Cats couldn't get closer than seven the rest of the way.

    Northwestern shot 50 percent from the field (29-58) in the contest, but Creighton was just a bit better at 52.6 percent (30-57). Dave Sobolewski, who entered the game ranked third in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio, handed out a career-high eight helpers without committing a miscue.

    Northwestern returns to action next Wednesday, Dec. 28 as it opens Big Ten play at Ohio State. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. Central time.

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