EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Drew Crawford scored 27 points, John Shurna added 23 and Northwestern held off Akron 76-74 on Tuesday night in the first round of the NIT.

Shurna hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:33 to play. Akron had a chance to win at the buzzer, but a 3 by Alex Abreu bounced off the backboard.

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JerShon Cobb added 19 points for the fourth-seeded Wildcats (19-13), who have never been to the NCAA tournament.

Quincy Diggs led the fifth-seeded Zips (22-12) with 18 points. Zeke Marshall had 17, Chauncey Gilliam 12 and Nikola Cvetinovic 10.

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The Wildcats, making their fourth straight NIT appearance, will play top-seeded Washington or Texas-Arlington in the second round.

Shurna, the school’s career scoring leader, became the 27th player in Big Ten history to reach 2,000 points. He has 2,015.

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