Wildcats Fly By Illini

Led by John Shurna's 24 points and a career-high in scoring from Reggie Hearn, Northwestern downed in-state rival Illinois in Champaign for the first time since 1999, winning by a score of 74-70.

Northwestern earned its first win in Champaign since 1999 and a key résumé win, beating rival Illinois, 74-70.

John Shurna led the charge with 24 points on 11 of 15 from the field, including 17 points in the second half. Reggie Hearn posted a career-high 20 points.

Shurna was key in helping the Wildcats out of a second-half slump. David Sobolewski had a layup in the opening minute of the half, the Northwestern went without a point in the following 7:21, and Illinois jumped to a four-point lead. Shurna then reeled off nine straight NU points, helping to end the funk.

Drew Crawford then hit a layup and Sobolewski followed with a jumper. Northwestern regained the lead.

Northwestern jumped to its final lead with five minutes remaining in the game on a Drew Crawford layup. The Wildcats were focused on finishing after that.

Shurna would throw in the dagger with a layup in the final minutes, giving Northwestern a five-point lead. Illinois guard D.J. Richardson missed a three-pointer on the other end. Free throws helped the Wildcats secure a crucial road win.

The Wildcats used six players during the win, with Davide Curletti coming off the NU bench. He finished with just one point—a late free throw. Northwestern used its smaller lineup for the second straight game, with Shurna serving as center.

Shurna passed Evan Eschmeyer for second on Northwestern's all-time scoring list with a second-half layup. He trails only Bill McKinney, who set the high mark with 2,000 career points.

NU looks to advance its winning streak on Thursday when Iowa travels to Welsh-Ryan Arena.


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