After a sluggish start, Northwestern pulled away from Central Connecticut State for their 9th straight win. After struggling from the perimeter in the first half (just 4 for 15 on threes), NU adjusted in the second half and took it inside more, exploiting the smaller and less athletic Blue Devils.
The 'Cats were led by John Shurna's 29 points on 12 for 16 shooting. Along with Thompson, Nash and Mirkovic, Shurna went to the bench with 4 minutes to go and the 'Cats up 20. But after Central Connecticut State went on a quick 9-0 run against the second string, Carmody was forced to bring back his starters, and Shurna took over the game, going on a personal 9-0 run to bring the final margin back to 20. He finished off the night with a thunderous dunk in transition over a smaller Blue Devil player. CCSU had no answers the entire night for Shurna, who scored easy basket after easy basket. It was nice to see Shurna take the ball to the basket so assertively instead of settling for 3-pointers like he has for much of the season.
While a second straight game of poor 3-point shooting is a bit of a concern, overall NU has shot threes well and I wouldn't expect this to be a recurring problem. With 8 days off before the Big Ten opener against Illinois, the 'Cats will have plenty of time to rest. Thompson looked tired shooting the ball, he made his first two threes but missed his next five, and Marcotullio missed all 4 of his attempts. So I think the 8 days off will help Northwestern a lot.
I hope all the readers of Sippin' on Purple have a Merry Christmas, this will be it from me until after the holidays, at which point I'll have a ton of content leading up to the game against Illinois and the Big Ten season.