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Morning Box Score: Blackhawks Win Shootout, NU Wins NIT Opener

By Chuck Sudo in News on Mar 14, 2012 1:30PM

2012_01_01_wildcats.gif Northwestern 76, Akron 74

Illinois schools may have been shut out of NCAA tournament play, but Northwestern opened National Invitation Tournament play at Welsh-Ryan Arena last night by hanging on to beat the Zips. NU went into halftime with an eight-point lead and led by as many as 15 points in the first half, but Akron stormed back and took a 70-69 lead on a Quincy Diggs (18 points) three-pointer.

The game then slowed down to a defensive contest before John Shurna connected on a trey with 1;33 in regulation. Akron then connected on a free throw and regained possession after missing the second. But a three-pointer by Alex Abreu was off the mark. Shurna finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds and became the 27th player in the Big Ten to score 2,000 or more points. He has 2,015. NU's Drew Crawford led all scorers with 27 points. Next up for the Wildcats: top-seeded Washington State.

Blackhawks 4, St. Louis 3

Coach Joel Quenneville was quick with his hook last night. He pulled Ray Emery from goal after Emery surrendered three first-period goals in favor of Corey Crawford. Crawford shut out the Blues the rest of the way and allowed the Blackhawks to slowly claw their way back into the game. Brent Seabrook tied the game in the third period with a power play goal and, when the overtime period gave way to a shootout, Patrick Kane scored with a backhand on Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak. Seabrook's power play goal snapped a St. Louis streak of 51 straight penalty kills. Andrew Brunette and Viktor Stalberg scored for Chicago.