CBKB: Northwestern beats Indiana 93-81

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - John Shurna scored 24 points to lead Northwestern to a 93-81 victory over Indiana Sunday night.

The Wildcats (10-4, 1-3 Big Ten) raced to a 40-28 halftime lead behind Shurna, who had 13 points including three 3-pointers.

Indiana (9-8, 0-4) lost its sixth in a row. They struggled from the beginning in this one, going 9 for 25 from the field (36 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.

"We played extremely immature in the first half," Indiana coach Tom Crean said.

Northwestern was ahead 68-44 before the Hoosiers began to come back. They got within 82-74 with 2:05 left on a layup by Victor Oladipo. But Drew Crawford hit a 3-point shot on the Wildcats' next possession to put the lead back in double digits.

Shurna was 6 for 9 from the field - 4 for 5 on 3-pointers - while making 8 of 10 free throws. He also had five assists. Center Luka Mirkovic scored 20 points on 7-of-11 field-goal shooting and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for Northwestern.

"Getting the ball down to Luka opens so much up," Shurna said. "I wasn't driving too much, but once we threw it down to Luka, everything gets moving, shots open up for everybody."

"We were just establishing our inside-out game," Mirkovic said.

Northwestern entered Big Ten play with a 9-1 record, but lost its first three in conference play, the last one an 88-63 defeat Thursday at No. 20 Illinois that was the Wildcats' worst loss of the season.

"After such a poor effort against Illinois, most of the guys were upset," Mirkovic said.

Michael Thompson added 16 points and freshman JerShon Cobb had 11 for the Wildcats.

"I was happy with my team," Northwestern coach Bill Carmody said. "Just to get that first (Big Ten) win is real important."

Christian Watford scored all 17 of his points in the second half for Indiana, which lost its sixth straight game. Oladipo added 13 points, Jordan Hulls scored 12 and Verdell Jones III had 10 for the Hoosiers.

After opening the season 6-0, the Hoosiers have dropped eight of their last 11 games.

"We've got to learn how to play 40 minutes, quickly," Crean said.

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