Recap: Northwestern vs. Akron
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Drew Crawford scored 27 points to lead the Northwestern Wildcats as they downed the Akron Zips, 76-74, at Welsh-Ryan Arena in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament.
John Shurna posted a double-double for the Wildcats (19-13) with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while JerShon Cobb added 19 points. Northwestern will play Washington in the second round of the tournament.
Quincy Diggs led the Zips (22-12) with 18 points, while Zeke Marshall finished with 17 points, Chauncey Gilliam scored 12 points and Nikola Cvetinovic chipped in 10 points.
Northwestern had the hot hand to start the contest, hitting on 56.7 percent from the field, including 5-of-11 from three-point range. Akron struggled, making only 40.5 percent, including 2-of-8 from beyond the arc. After leading by as many as 15 in the first half, the Wildcats took a 42-34 advantage into halftime.
Akron staged a comeback after the break by connecting on 50 percent of its shots from the floor, while holding the Wildcats to only 37.5 percent shooting. Leading by three with just under two minutes to play, the Wildcats fouled Brian Walsh on a three-pointer, and Walsh knocked down all three free- throws to knot the score at 73-73. Shurna answered with a three-pointer to put Northwestern back ahead by three. That deficit still stood for the Zips when the Wildcats fouled Quincy Diggs with just four seconds left to play. Diggs made the first free-throw and intentionally missed the second, but the rebound went off of Northwestern and out of bounds, giving the Zips one last possession. Alex Abreu got a good look at a three-pointer, but his attempt just missed as the buzzer sounded.
Northwestern scored 17 points off of 12 Akron turnovers, while only turning the ball over six times themselves. Akron dominated in the paint, outscoring Northwestern 40-22.Game Notes