Robbie Beran scored a career-high 20 points, Boo Buie added 16 points and Northwestern opened the season with an 85-54 rout of Chicago State on Monday night.
Beran, who averaged 6.4 points per game last season, shot 4-for-8 from the field, including 2-of-3 3-pointers, and made 10 of 11 free throws. He had seven rebounds.
Buie, the fifth-leading returning scorer in the Big Ten after averaging 14.1 points per game last season, had seven rebounds and six assists.
Ty Berry had 14 points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats and Chase Audige added 13 points and nine assists.
After going scoreless themselves for the first two minutes, the Wildcats held Chicago State without a point until Elijah Weaver’s 3-pointer with 13:11 left in the first half made the score 9-3.
Chicago State was within 16-13 with 8:27 left in the half before Northwestern pulled away with a 21-8 run for a 36-21 halftime lead. The Cougars didn’t reach 30 points until 10:15 remained.
Elijah Weaver led Chicago State with 19 points, Jahsean Corbett had 14 points with eight rebounds and Wesley Cardet scored 11 points.
Northwestern made more free throws (27-of-32) than field goals (24-of-56) and had 20 assists on 24 made baskets.
Northwestern returned- four of five starters from last year’s team that finished 15-16. Chicago State returned three starters but added seven transfers and six freshmen this season.