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Northwestern resumes homestand by cruising past Illinois-Springfield

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Dec 5, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA;  Northwestern Wildcats head coach Chris Collins  reacts during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2021; College Park, Maryland, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Chris Collins reacts during the first half against the Maryland Terrapins at Xfinity Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Pete Nance had 15 points and eight rebounds and Ty Berry and Boo Buie chipped in 11 points apiece as host Northwestern extended its winning streak to three games with a 90-50 rout of Illinois-Springfield on Monday night in Evanston, Ill.

The Wildcats (8-2) shot 55.2 percent compared to 30.9 percent for Illinois-Springfield while forcing the Prairie Stars into 16 turnovers.

UIS (4-7) lost for the fourth time in six games. The Prairie Stars shot 10-for-25 from 3-point range, with Chris Hamil collecting four of the team’s makes from deep.

James Kelley paced Illinois-Springfield with 14 points, while Hamil followed with 13. Kelley and Jesus Castillo grabbed six boards apiece.

Northwestern led by as many as 42 points down the stretch in its penultimate tune-up before resuming Big Ten Conference play when the calendar turns to 2022. The Wildcats are set to host Prairie View A&M on Dec. 30, then will welcome Michigan State on Jan. 2 in the fourth game of a five-game homestand.

The Wildcats opened the second half on a 17-0 run to take a 64-29 lead with 13:53 remaining. The Prairie Stars got on the second-half scoreboard at last on a Kelley trey 21 seconds later.

Robbie Beran had eight points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, while Ryan Greer dished a game-best five assists.

The Wildcats boasted a 43-31 rebounding advantage and had 24 assists and eight blocks. Northwestern had a 26-1 edge in points off turnovers while outscoring UIS 38-12 in the paint.

Northwestern cruised to a 47-29 halftime lead behind torrid shooting. The Wildcats shot 56.7 percent from the field in the first half while rolling to 6-for-15 accuracy from long range. Berry drilled half of the team’s 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes and matched Nance with 11 points apiece.

UIS had a quick turnaround after defeating visiting Purdue Northwest 78-68 in overtime on Sunday afternoon.

–Field Level Media