Northwestern lost its third straight game 69-48 at NC State Thursday. If not for a substantial edge in free throws, the game would have been an even bigger blowout. The Wildcats jumped out to an early 6-2 lead before NCSt went on an 8-0 run and they would eventually extend the lead to 16-9 and never looked back.
The Wolfpack took a 31-20 lead into the locker room and then extended to 42-23 with an 11-3 run to open the second half. The Wildcats awful night from the field ultimately did them in. They shot 25 percent from the floor and 27 percent from the arc.
Drew Crawford returned from back spasms the forced him to sit out the Wildcats loss to UCLA Friday and forced him out of all but 13 minutes against Missouri Thanksgiving night. The Senior scored 17 points on 5-16 shooting and pulled down nine rebounds. His teammates shot just 8-36. Kale Abrahamson came off the bench and was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 12. The other four starters for NU besides Crawford finished the night 2-25.
NC State bolted out in the first half behind T.J. Warren who had 16 of his 22 points before the break. Warren also finished with eight rebounds and three steals. Freshman Leonard Freeman finished with his first career double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ralston Turner had 13 points off the bench.
Northwestern has now lost their last two in the challenge after a four year winning streak.
Northwestern could not handle the Wolfpack inside. NC State finished with a 38-10 advantage on points in the paint.
Northwestern returns home to face 5-2 Western Michigan Saturday at 4pm at Welsh-Ryan arena. They defeated the Broncos in football at Ryan Field in September.