In what is arguably the biggest win in program history, the Cougars of Chicago State defeated no. 25-ranked Northwestern 75-73, who themselves are coming off a 92-88 victory over then no.1 ranked Purdue.
After an opening three and a half minutes in which the teams exchanged the lead and featured three times, a three-pointer from Boo Brie put the Wildcats up 10-7 with 15:51 remaining in the first half. Over the subsequent 3:41, Northwestern outscored Chicago State 12-5 to take their first double-digit lead of the evening at 22-12 on Luke Hunger’s layup; they would also enjoy a ten-point lead at 28-18 on a Matthew Nicholson free throw.
The Cougars spent the majority of the first half playing uphill, finally tying the contest at 33 all on the second of a pair of Jahsean Corbett free throws. CSU took brief leads at 35-33 and 37-36 before Brooks Barnhizer’s short jumper gave the Wildcats a 38-37 lead they took into halftime.
Chicago State scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 45-38 lead on Corbett’s jumper with 16:39 remaining in the contest. Northwestern responded with an 11-2 spurt that put them back in front at 49-47 when Ty Berry connected from downtown.
Northwestern pushed the lead to 8 at 60-52 and appeared poised to seize control of the game, but CSU answered back with a 10-1 run of their own to take a 61-60 lead on Wesley Cardet’s three-pointer with 6:13 left in the contest. Back-to-back Buie jumpers that tied the game at 65 and then briefly put the Wildcats up by a bucket at 67-65 with 2:30 remaining was the last time Northwestern would enjoy the lead on the evening. A short jumper from Cardet followed by a three on the next possession put the Cougars up 70-67.
Northwestern would draw within one a Buie free throw with 1:04 but they would get no closer, as Chicago State would hang on to get the win.
Wesley Cardet Jr led the way for Chicago State with 30 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists on 13/21 from the floor and 3/9 from downtown. Jahsean Corbett was the other double-figure scorer with 17 points but shot just 4-15 from the floor.
In a losing effort, Boo Buie led three Wildcats in double figures with 23 points, while dishing out 8 assists and grabbing 6 rebounds. Ryan Landborg put in 18 points and Brooks Branhizer added 13.
The win was the first against Northwestern for Chicago State, who had been previously 0-14 against their Big 12 foe. It was also CSU’s first win against a ranked team in attempts.
Up next for Chicago State (4-9, 0-0) is a road trip to take on Valparaiso on Saturday.