Northern Illinois stuns Washington 71-64 to open season
Nov. 9, 2021 Updated Tue., Nov. 9, 2021 at 10:28 p.m.
SEATTLE – Trendon Hankerson made six 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 28 points, and Northern Illinois was a winner in coach Rashon Burno’s debut, stunning Washington 71-64 on Tuesday night.
Northern Illinois (1-0) built a 16-point first half lead, watched Washington (0-1) chip away and take a 52-51 advantage with 5:26 remaining and then outplayed its Power Five foe down the stretch.
Hankerson’s fifth 3-pointer gave Northern Illinois a 54-52 lead and sparked a 13-2 run by the Huskies from the Mid-American Conference. Keshawn Williams added a 3 during the run and Hankerson’s sixth make from beyond the arc pushed the lead to 62-54 with 2:45 remaining.
Hankerson made 9 of 15 shots and was 6 of 11 on 3s. Anthony Crump added 11 points for Northern Illinois.
Terrell Brown Jr. led Washington with 22 points, but it was an awful shooting performance both from the field and the free-throw line for Washington.
Washington shot 26.7% from the field, was 3 of 18 on 3s and was 21 of 36 at the free-throw line.
Nate Roberts had 10 points and a career-high 19 rebounds and took over on the interior for stretches of the second half before fouling out.
But it was an inauspicious start to what’s believed to be a make-or-break season for Washington coach Mike Hopkins coming off two straight seasons where his team was at the bottom of the Pac-12.
Washington brought in five key transfers all expected to be major contributors. But Brown was the only one to make an impact in the opener and Washington looked like a group that hasn’t played much together, especially at the offensive end where getting into any sort of flow and rhythm was a struggle.
Northern Illinois was picked to finish 12th in the MAC in Burno’s first season after spending the previous six seasons as an assistant at Arizona State. It was Northern Illinois’ first win over a Power Five program since beating Kansas State in 2005.
Northern Illinois: Northern Illinois faces a brutal early schedule with its first six games away from home and the first three coming against Power Five opponents. The Huskies follow the trip to Washington with a game at Indiana and a matchup at Missouri.
Washington: The Huskies must be better shooting from the outside and will not be able to survive shooting 16.7% on 3-pointers.
Northern Illinois: At Indiana on Friday.
Washington: Hosts Northern Arizona on Thursday.
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