Northwestern rolls past North Florida, 84-54Dec 17, 2009 - 4:59 AM EVANSTON, Ill.(AP) -- Michael Thompson scored 14 points as Northwestern won its seventh consecutive game Wednesday night, defeating North Florida 84-54.
Five other Wildcats scored in double figures besides Thompson, as Luka Mirkovic had 13 points and a career-high eight assists, Jeremy Nash and John Shurna added 11 apiece, and freshmen Drew Crawford and Alex Marcotullio each scored 10.
Northwestern (8-1) has its longest winning streak since 1993-94, when the Wildcats won nine in a row. They host Stanford on Saturday.
The balanced scoring has been evident throughout the early season for Northwestern, with four players averaging nine or more points.
Leading just 30-29 in the first half, Northwestern had a 15-2 run to grab a commanding 45-31 advantage. The Wildcats sank three three-pointers in the surge, including two by Marcotullio. Thompson had three of Northwestern's nine first-half 3s, as the Wildcats led 45-33.
Shurna scored six points and Mirkovic added five as Northwestern opened the second half by outscoring the Ospreys 14-2 for a 59-35 advantage. Seven Wildcats combined to make 14 3-pointers, following the school-record 20 set last Sunday against North Carolina A&T.
Northwestern has been running its offense of late outside the 3-point arc, taking advantage of the mobility and passing ability of the 6-foot-11 Mirkovic at center.
Jerron Granberry led North Florida (1-6) with 16 points, while Eni Cuka had 10.
The Ospreys shot 60 percent in the first half (12-for-20), but couldn't slow down the Wildcats, who made 9-of-12 3-pointers before intermission and finished 14-for-28 for the game. North Florida committed 23 turnovers to 14 for Northwestern.
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