Thursday's matinee game came less than 48 hours after the Wildcat's first loss of the season, a 16-point loss to St. John's in Madison Square Garden. After the game, Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody admitted the short layoff was beneficial for the Wildcats.
"We're fortunate that we could get right back to playing," Carmody said. "None of us were too happy about what happened with St. John's.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 20-0 run in the game's first seven minutes, which set the tone for a rout. Northwestern's defense was able to keep the Mountaineers off the board for the first 9:19 of the game, and help them to 0-15 from the field.
After posting just 16 points in the first half, St. Mary's started to wake up in the second half, as they shot 52% from the field in the half. However, it wasn't nearly enough for the Mountaineers to overcome their large deficit.
Midway through the second half, Northwestern received a big scare. Leading scorer John Shurna fell to the ground awkwardly in a mid-air collision, and was left grabbing his ankle. He was helped off the court, and did not return. Shurna was left with an ankle sprain, which doesn't appear to be too serious.
With an eight day layoff between games, this shouldn't be a concern for the Wildcats.
"(Shurna) has a sprained ankle. Initially, that's what the trainer said. This is a good time to get it."
The ‘Cats didn't need Shurna today. Contributions from junior's Drew Crawford and Luka Mirkovic paved the way for a big victory. Both players came off one of the worst games of their careers in the loss to St. John's, but both players recovered nicely in the win.
Mirkovic and the Wildcats showed no ill-effects against the Mountaineers after the loss on Tuesday.
"I think our effort today showed it didn't take long (to get over St. John's)," said Luka Mirkovic.
The Wildcats will take a few days off for the holidays, before beginning preparations for Purdue. The ‘Cats split the series with the Boilermakers in 2009-10. That game is set for 11:00 CT. from Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, IN.