'Cats Reach 20 Wins, Quarterfinals

For the first time in program history, Northwestern is on to the third-round of the NIT. The Wildcats took down Boston College, 85-67.

With the win, the Wildcats move on to the NIT quarterfinals for the first time, and have locked up their second-consecutive 20-win season.

A lights-out shooting performance from the Wildcats is what propelled them past the Golden Eagles. Northwestern shot 54.8%, and 15-36 from beyond the arc.

Michael Thompson led all scorers with 22 points, including 6-12 on three-pointers. He was one of five NU players in double-figures for the Wildcats. Also joining in was John Shurna with 20 points, Luka Mirkovic and Drew Crawford with 13 points, and Alex Marcotullio with 12 points.

Late in the first half, Northwestern took control of the game. Holding just a two-point lead, the Wildcats began to separate. They took a 38-31 halftime lead, and then continued to roll in the second half. Juice Thompson nailed a three-pointer to open the second half, giving Northwestern a double-digit lead. Boston College would cut their deficit four times, early in the second half, but Northwestern continued to drain shots, and the Golden Eagles could not hang around.

The Wildcats would open up a 20-point lead in the second half, and own the rest of the half.

Boston College had no answer for Northwestern's shooters, who finished with 15 three-pointers, and 34-62 from the field.

Going unnoticed in the game was the Wildcats' strong defensive effort. Boston College shot the ball well with 52.2% from the field, but struggled from beyond the arc. In addition, the Wildcats out-rebounded the Golden Eagles by nine.

The win goes as another historic one for the Northwestern basketball program. This marks the second time that the Wildcats have reached the 20-win plateau and the farthest that the program has ever gone in a postseason tournament.

Next up for the Wildcats will be the winner of the Washington State-Oklahoma State game. A date and time for that game has not yet been announced.

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