The Northwestern Wildcats will be advancing to the next round of this year's NIT after a 76-74 victory over the Akron Zips in the tournament's first round. Akron had a chance to tie or win the game in the final seconds, but Alex Abreu's three-point shot at the buzzer failed to go in.
Northwestern led by as many as 15 points in the first half of Tuesday's game, but Akron battled back to the tie the game fairly early in the second half. From there, the two sides battled it out until the end, as John Shurna's three-point shot with roughly 90 seconds remaining would prove to be the game-winner.
Shurna had a huge game for the Wildcats, contributing 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists to the victory. Northwestern also got big numbers from Drew Crawford (27 points on 10-15 shooting) and JerShon Cobb (19 points on 8-of-10 shooting).
Zeke Marshall led Akron with 17 points and seven rebounds. Abreu struggled with his shot all night for the Zips, but he did tally ten assists.