EVANSTON — Drew Crawford scored a season-high 26 points, and Northwestern beat Mississippi Valley State, 86-64, Monday night.
Alex Olah and Tre Demps scored 18, and Sanjay Lumpkin had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Northwestern (6-5), which was playing without guard JerShon Cobb. The Wildcats' second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game, Cobb was in a walking boot and didn't play because of a sprained left ankle he suffered during practice Thursday. He is day-to-day.
Crawford added 10 rebounds and moved up to seventh in school history in points, passing Kevin Rankin (1,575). Crawford also set a season-high for the Wildcats, who had one of their best shooting nights of the season.
Northwestern entered play Monday shooting 41.8 percent but made 29 of 54 shots (53.7 percent), while holding Mississippi Valley State (3-7) to 36.2 percent.
The Wildcats were playing their first game after an eight-day break for final exams and won their second straight following a 51-35 victory last Sunday over Western Michigan. They have another six-day break until Sunday when they face Brown.
Before the two wins, the Wildcats lost three in a row to Missouri, UCLA and North Carolina State. On Monday, Northwestern wasn't challenged, as it won at least two games in a row for the second time in Chris Collins' first year as coach.
Crawford's 3-pointer with five seconds left in the first half gave NU a 44-31 lead, but MVSU ended the period when DeAngelo Priar's desperation heave from just beyond half court banked in, cutting Northwestern's lead to 10.
The Wildcats then stayed in control during the second half, with their lead never dipping below nine.
Northwestern's win was also its fourth in five games all-time against Mississippi Valley State, after it beat the Delta Devils, 81-68, last year in Evanston.