By Chris Kwiecinski
Last season, Northwestern inched past Chicago State in Evanston by a score of 68-64.
This time around, there was no such nail-biter, as Northwestern (6-4) held Chicago State (2-11) to eight halftime points, en route to a 96-31 win.
The Wildcats’ defense held the Cougars to 20 percent shooting from the floor, and forced Chicago State into committing 29 personal fouls and 25 turnovers.
Northwestern opened the game with a 15-0 run, and followed that with a subsequent 21-0 run to push the first half lead to 44-5 at the 4:39 mark, which was essentially where the game was decided.
The Wildcats led 55-8 at halftime, as Vic Law, Dererk Pardon, Scottie Lindsey and Aaron Falzon individually outscored Chicago State after the first half.
Northwestern let up on the Cougars in the second half, and allowed Chicago State to double its halftime score. The game, however, was so out of reach, walk-ons Charlie Hall and Tino Malnati played in the final minutes.
Law led all Northwestern players with 18 points, while Pardon, Lindsey, Falzon and Anthony Gaines also finished the game with double figures, scoring 13, 12, 15 and 11, respectively.
The ‘Cats will return to action against Valparaiso this Thursday at 7 p.m.
– Vic Law subbed out at the 18:13 mark of the first half, and was receiving medical attention on the sidelines. He eventually returned a few minutes later, drawing a sigh of relief from the Wildcat faithful. Although the ‘Cats eventually won big, losing a starter like Law would, for all intents and purposes, have relegated this game to a loss.
– Guard Aaron Falzon could become a scoring centerpiece for Northwestern if he finds more consistency in his 3-point shot. He finished with 15 against the Cougars, and had a confident stroke as he took shots early and often. He finished 4-8 from three-point range.
– Blowout game aside, Northwestern forward Rapolas Ivanauskas will miss the season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He had surgery on the same shoulder last year, which forced him to redshirt his freshman year. He played only 11 minutes in three games during the 2017-2018 season.