Northwestern throttles Eastern Illinois in opener

Boo Buie scored 17 points, and Ty Berry and Pete Nance each scored 13.

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Northwestern guard Boo Buie drives against Eastern Illinois guard Myles Baker, left, and guard Henry Abraham.

Northwestern guard Boo Buie drives against Eastern Illinois guard Myles Baker, left, and guard Henry Abraham.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Boo Buie scored 17 points and Ty Berry and Pete Nance each scored 13 and Northwestern beat Eastern Illinois 80-56 in a season opener for both teams Tuesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

The Wildcats maintained consistency throughout scoring 40 points and collecting 20 rebounds in each half. Buie also tallied six assists as Northwestern distributed 19 total on 28-made shots.

Defensively, Northwestern came up with 19 steals led by Buie and Robbie Beran with five apiece.

Eastern Illinois built a 5-0 lead in the first 88 seconds before Northwestern went on a 14-2 run over the next five minutes. Later, Elyjah Williams, Nance in back-to-back possessions and Casey Simmons all made layups and the lead grew to 27-12 with 10:23 before halftime.

Jermaine Hamlin scored 10 points for the Panthers and Eastern Illinois finished with 19 made baskets overall.

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