Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 88, LSU 82


Here's a quick look at Northwestern's 88-82 win over LSU in the Charleston Classic quarterfinals on Thursday.

How it happened: After struggling offensively (outside of John Shurna) and defensively for much of the first half, Northwestern regrouped at halftime and emerged a different team. The Wildcats erased a nine-point halftime deficit within the first six minutes and led for the game's final 10 minutes. The Wildcats turned to their 1-3-1 zone in the second half, and it disturbed LSU's offensive flow. The Wildcats also got other players other than Shurna to contribute offensively in the second half. Junior guard Drew Crawford scored all of his 17 points in the second half. Reggie Hearn and JerShon Cobb also hit a couple key shots in the second half for Northwestern. Freshman David Sobolewski connected on a 3-pointer in the final 30 seconds to clinch the win.

What it means: Northwestern moves on in the Charleston Classic. The Wildcats showed they can bounce back against an athletic team like LSU. For LSU, it was game it had in hand in the first half and relinquished in the final 20 minutes. It was LSU's second consecutive loss.

Player of the game: Shurna set a career high with 37 points. He broke his previous game-high of 31 points with a wide-open, one-handed jam to put the Wildcats ahead 78-73 with 3:06 left. He later added another clutch bucket to put them up 81-77. He hit four 3-pointers and was 13 of 14 from the free-throw line. It's the type of performance Northwestern coach Bill Carmody has been asking from his star player.

Outside the box: It's early in the season, but these are the sort of games Northwestern needs to win if it's going to build an NCAA tournament resume. It's a quality win for the Wildcats. They'd obviously benefit more if they could win the whole tournament.

What's next: Northwestern will face Tulsa in the Charleston Classic semifinals. Tulsa defeated Western Kentucky 65-49 earlier on Thursday.