Northwestern Wildcats Drop First Of Season, To St. John's In MSG Holiday Classic

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Northwestern Leads At Halftime, But Can't Hold It; St. John's Wins 85-69

The Northwestern Wildcats ran out to a quick halftime lead at 40-37 and looked like they would extend their record to 9-0 for the first time since the 1993-94 season.

St. John’s Redmen, though, playing on one of their home floors in front of many of their own fans, took over the game in the second half, outscoring the Wildcats 48-29 and winning going away by 16 points. They shot nearly unconscious percentages — 60.8% from the floor, 7-for-14 from three-point land and made 16 of 21 free throws (the Wildcats couldn’t break 50% in any of those categories).

Dwight Hardy led St. John’s with 24 points and Justin Brownlee had 21. Northwestern was led by John Shurna with 28 and Drew Crawford with 17.

The Wildcats head home to face Mt. St. Mary’s on Thursday at 3 p.m. in Evanston.


Northwestern Off To Best Start In 17 Years After 92-61 Win Over St. Francis

The Northwestern Wildcats, invited to the MSG Holiday Classic in New York City over the holidays, made the most of the first game of the tournament by crushing the St. Francis Terriers 92-61; they led the whole way, hitting eight of 14 three-pointers to take a 45-31 lead at halftime.

They then allowed the Terriers to cut the lead to 49-40 before going on a 10-0 run early in the second half that iced the win. They shot 50.7% from the floor for the game and were 10-for-22 (45.5%) in three-point shots. John Shurna led the Wildcats with 26 points and Drew Crawford added 25 with nine rebounds. It’s the Wildcats’ best start since they went 9-0 to open the 1993-94 season.

In the second half of the doubleheader, St. John’s defeated Davidson 62-57. While the Redmen are only 6-3 in the season’s early going, it would be a big boost to Northwestern’s chances of making the NCAA tournament — something they’ve never done — if they can win this holiday tournament. The championship game tips off at 8:30 p.m. CST Tuesday night; again, it is on MSG Network, which is not generally available in the Chicago area, but can be seen on some satellite systems.


Northwestern Wildcats Visit New York For MSG Holiday Festival

Perhaps in this winter which has been unusually brutal for the northeastern and midwestern parts of the United States, the first holiday travel wish for college students wouldn't be a Christmas week trip to New York City. But for the Northwestern men's basketball team, this week's trip to New York to play in the MSG Holiday Festival is something they're all excited about, according to junior center Luka Mirkovic:
"It will be awesome," Mirkovic said. "We all watch the NBA, and when you're a kid and someone brings up Madison Square Garden, your eyes light up and everyone gets excited."
The Wildcats will take on St. Francis (NY) tonight, and face the winner of the other match between St. John's and Davidson tomorrow if they can beat the Terriers tonight. Northwestern has begun the season 7-0, including wins over Creighton and Georgia Tech. Here's a summary of how the team spent Sunday after arriving. The game begins at 6 p.m. CST. It's televised on the MSG Network, which is not available in the Chicago area on cable, but may be available on some satellite systems.
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