Nov. 29, 2011
ATLANTA (AP) – John Shurna, the Big Ten’s leading scorer, had 25 points to lead Northwestern past Georgia Tech 76-60 on Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
Shurna, a 6-foot-9 senior forward, made three 3-pointers and had a team-high eight rebounds as Northwestern (6-0) remained unbeaten. Drew Crawford had 14 points and Luka Mirkovic had 13.
Georgia Tech already knew about Shurna’s scoring exploits. Shurna had 21 points as Northwestern beat Georgia Tech 91-71 in last year’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Evanston, Ill.
Shurna had 15 points in the first half Tuesday. The Wildcats led by 13 points at 27-14 midway through the half.
Each team played in the recent Charleston Classic. Northwestern won the tournament, beating LSU, Tulsa and Seton Hall. Georgia Tech lost to Saint Joseph’s and LSU and beat VCU.
Shurna had a career-high 37 points in the win over LSU and was leading the Big Ten with his average of 21.2 points per game before Tuesday night.
Georgia Tech, playing under first-year coach Brian Gregory, made its first appearance of the season at Philips Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. The arena is one of two home courts for the Yellow Jackets this season as their on-campus facility is rebuilt.
Morris helped Georgia Tech rally, scoring 11 of his team’s 13 points in one stretch. Morris had seven straight points to cut the Northwestern lead to 36-33. The Wildcats led 44-39 at halftime but stretched the lead back to 10 at 55-45 on Alex Marcotullio’s 3-pointer.
Daniel Miller and Glen Rice Jr. each had 10 points for Georgia Tech.
Northwestern made 31 of 56 shots (55.4 percent). Georgia Tech struggled with 29.6 percent shooting in the second half to finish at 42.6 percent (23 of 54).