The Northwestern Wildcats tamed the SIU Edwardsville Cougars Thursday night and made it look easy. The first half ended with the Wildcats leading 55-25 and the Cougars could only score another 30 points by the game’s end.

Five players scored in double figures to lead Northwestern to a 98-55 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville Thursday night.

The Wildcats (13-5) raced to a 55-25 halftime lead, which included a 28-2 run, in the nonconference game. Northwestern led by as many as 45 points in the second half in rolling to its fourth win in their last five games.

Drew Crawford led the Wildcats with 16 points. Luka Mirkovic had 15, freshman JerShon Cobb added 11, while Alex Marcotullio and Reggie Hearn each scored 10.

Cornelius Chatt scored 25 points for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (5-16). Chatt made three 3-pointers for the Cougars.

Northwestern’s John Shurna was held out of the game for precautionary reasons. The 6-foot-8 junior forward scored 24 points in Tuesday’s victory over Michigan but has been bothered by a high left ankle sprain suffered on Dec. 23 against Mount St. Mary’s.

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