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Northwestern finishes nonconference play vs. Jackson St.

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Northwestern has won back-to-back games since a stunning home loss to Chicago State on Dec. 13.

The Wildcats, who haven’t played since beating Arizona State on Dec. 20, will try to close their nonconference schedule with a flourish when they host Jackson State on Friday in Evanston, Ill.

Northwestern (9-2) is coming off a 65-46 win over the Sun Devils in what was technically a neutral-site game at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The Wildcats limited Arizona State to 13 points in the first half to set a dominant defensive tone. Northwestern held Arizona State to 31.4 percent shooting for the night, including 3-for-18 (16.7 percent) on 3-point attempts.

Although the Wildcats combined with the Sun Devils to start 3-for-15 from the floor, Northwestern soon discovered its touch to take a 36-13 lead to the break.

Boo Buie finished with 22 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats. He also had three assists to reach 500 for his career.

Northwestern’s Ty Berry added 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Brooks Barnhizer had 16 points and nine boards.

Jackson State (4-8) is coming off a 100-76 loss at No. 15 Gonzaga on Dec. 20, its second defeat against a ranked foe this season.

Ken Evans Jr. registered 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who also got 14 points from Chase Adams plus 13 points and eight rebounds from Coltie Young.

Although Jackson State had 17 assists against just eight turnovers, the Bulldogs’ size and depth proved to be too much.

The Tigers have played each of their games on the road or on neutral sites. Friday marks their final game before Jackson State meets Alcorn State in its home opener and Southwest Athletic Conference opener on Jan. 6.

The Wildcats begin their Big Ten schedule at No. 11 Illinois on Tuesday.

Northwestern and Jackson State are meeting for the first time. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers’ Southwestern Athletic Conference counterpart, Prairie View A&M, 61-51 last December.

–Field Level Media

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