Boo Buie, Northwestern aim to set selves apart from High Point

Northwestern Basketball

When looking at High Point and Northwestern, you might need to do a double take because these programs are very much alike.

Both schools rock purple as their primary color and finished with identical 9-15 records during the 2020-21 season, the lone difference being Northwestern’s 6-13 conference record compared to High Point’s 6-11 league mark.

Now, the two face off in Evanston, Ill., on Friday night for their first-ever matchup after both won big in their respective season openers.

Northwestern (1-0) began its four-game, season-opening homestand with an 80-56 win over Eastern Illinois on Tuesday night.

Their hopeful three-headed monster of Boo Buie, Ty Berry and Pete Nance showed out, shooting a combined 16-for-34 from the field and 5-for-13 from beyond the arc for 43 points.

“Everyone who came out tonight, we’re super thankful,” Buie said. “Hearing the crowd back in the gym, it’s not like a ghost town. Having fans back is definitely a plus to start the season.”

Buie led the Wildcats with 17 points, as well as 5-for-6 shooting from the free throw line, and Berry and Nance each had 13 points on the night. In just 18 minutes of play, Nance led Northwestern in blocks with two.

High Point (1-0) eclipsed the century mark in its season opener on Tuesday, nearly doubling up Shenandoah in a 108-59 win.

“I thought our guys really came focused and ready to start the game and it carried over throughout the team and game,” High Point coach Tubby Smith said. “We were at our best and I don’t think we have shot that well in years. We have improved in that area, and that is huge.”

It was an offensive onslaught from the Panthers, who shot 51.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3-point range.

Five players finished with double figures in scoring, including a game-high 23 points from John-Michael Wright, who shot 8-for-14 from the field and 5-for-8 from deep.

Redshirt freshman Zach Austin nearly had a double-double in his debut, putting up 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting with nine rebounds, and Emmanuel Izunabor posted a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double.

–Field Level Media

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