EVANSTON, Ill. - Five players scored in double-figures Thursday to lead Northwestern to a 98-55 win over Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in men's basketball at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Cougars fell to 5-16 with the defeat. SIUE is now 0-12 in road games. The Wildcats improved to 13-5, including a 9-1 mark at home.
"(Northwestern) is a great team," SIUE Coach Lennox Forrester said. "A lot of teams come in here and find it real hard to win."
Cornelius Chatt scored a career-high 25 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the field. He knocked down three three-pointers (all in the first half) and was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line.
"Chatt was awesome," Forrester said of the junior guard. "He's been working harder in practice. I'm not surprised he had 25. That is a product of him working that hard."
A 32-5 run spanning the last eight minutes of the first half and into the second half allowed the Wildcats to put the game away early.
Chatt hit the second of his three-point baskets with 8:03 to go before halftime to cut the Northwestern lead to 27-20. The Wildcats then outscored the Cougars 28-2 the majority of the rest of the half. Chatt banked home a three-pointer from deep on the right wing as the buzzer sounded for halftime to make it 55-25 Northwestern at the break.
The Wildcats then scored the first four points of the second half to extend the lead to 59-25 before the Cougars scored again. That's when Chatt hit a pair of free throws with 18:48 to play.
Drew Crawford led the Wildcats with 16 points in just 16 minutes of work Thursday. Luka Mirkovic scored 15. JerShon Cobb added 11 and Alex Marcotullio and Reggie Hearn each scored 10 points.
Corey Wickware was the only other Cougar to mange double figures. Wickware scored 10 points on 3 of 8 shooting. He was 2 for 4 from three-point range. Chatt, LeShaun Murphy and Dob Mavrak each grabbed three rebounds to pace the Cougars on the glass.
Northwestern won the rebounding battle 38-22 and outscored the Cougars 38-18 in the paint. The Wildcats' bench outscored that of the Cougars 40-15.
"We had a day to prepare," Forrester said. "We competed. I'm not going to say I'm happy, but I know we competed."
SIUE is back in action Monday when it hosts UT Martin at the Vadalabene Center. Game time is 7 p.m.