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    Northwestern Cruises Past Northwestern State 85-59

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Jason Okrzesik had a career-high 13 points off the bench in the win over Northwestern State.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Jason Okrzesik had a career-high 13 points off the bench in the win over Northwestern State.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Dec. 31, 2006

    Box Score |  Notes

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- For the first time in school history, Northwestern enters Big Ten play with at least 10 wins by virtue of its 85-59 win today over the Northwestern State Demons (5-7) at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Kevin Coble scored 19 on 9-of-10 from the field, followed by 13 from Craig Moore and Jason Okrzesik. Tim Doyle tallied a career-high nine assists.

    The 10-3 start is the best mark after 13 games since the 1982-83 season, giving Northwestern the momentum it needs headed in to league play which begins Wednesday at Penn State.

    Northwestern was 34-of-54 from the field (63 percent), the most field goals made by a Northwestern team in the Bill Carmody era while the 85 points tied for the most scored in his tenure as well.

    Northwestern assisted on 27 of the 34 makes, which tied for the second most assists in a game in school history.

    The Wildcats dominated from the get-go, opening up a 13-point lead midway through the first half on a 3-pointer by Sterling Williams. From there, Northwestern went on a 14-2 run over the next five minutes, capped off by an Okrzesik 3-pointer, to take a 23-point lead with 6:45 left and never looking back.

    The Demons, who knocked off Iowa last year in the NCAA Tournament, had no counter for Northwestern's offense. Northwestern State, who shot just 36 percent in the game, turned the ball over 11 times in the first half and allowed 36 points in the paint in the first 20 minutes.

    The Wildcats burned the Demons all game with backdoor cuts and layups, outscoring Northwestern State 54-22 in the paint. The Wildcats shot 73.3 percent in the first half and scored 53 points, the most in a half since scoring 62 in 1991.

     

     

    Luke Rogers led the Demons with 17 points off the bench.

    Northwestern now shifts its focus to Big Ten play when they travel to face Penn State at 6 p.m. CT Wednesday, Jan. 3.