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.