Recap: Northwestern vs. Eastern Ill
Evanston, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Drew Crawford posted a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds in his first game since Dec. 12, 2012 to lead the Northwestern Wildcats to a 72-58 season-opening victory over the Eastern Illinois Panthers at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Crawford was playing in his first game back with the Wildcats (1-0) since suffering a season-ending injury in the 10th game of the 2012-13 campaign. The win also marked the first by head coach Chris Collins, who spent last season as an assistant at Duke. Sanjay Lumpkin, JerShonn Cobb and Dave Sobolewski scored nine points apiece in the win. Cobb also dealt out eight assists.
Reggie Smith paced the Panthers (0-1) with 19 points on 4-of-16 shooting from the field. Sherman Blanford chipped in nine points for EIU, which now owns an 0-2 all-time record versus the Wildcats.
Northwestern took a 32-28 lead into halftime after shooting 40 percent from the field including 5-of-11 from behind the 3-point line in the opening 20 minutes. The Panthers kept it close by outscoring the Wildcats, 16-8, in the paint in the first half.
EIU hit on just 25 percent of its field goal attempts and converted only 13- of-21 tries at the free-throw line after the break. Northwestern knocked down 5-of-10 shots from beyond the arc and sank 15 of its 18 attempts at the charity stripe to pull away in the second half.
The Wildcats moved the ball with tremendous success as they assisted 16 of their 20 made field goals. EIU finished with just four assists and seven turnovers.Game Notes