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, who was 3-16 last season.
Trenton Massner scored 21 points and he and Luka Barisic hit 3-pointers in the final 20 seconds to rally Western Illinois to a 75-74 victory over Nebraska in a season opener on Tuesday night.
The Leathernecks had a two-point lead after George Dixon’s layup with 3:48 left, but Alonzo Verge Jr. hit a free throw and a layup, and Trey McGowens capped the 5-0 spurt with a dunk to give Nebraska a 72-69 lead with 2:07 to play.
C.J. Wilcher hit 1 of 2 free throws to push the lead to four before Massner buried a 3-pointer to get Western Illinois within 73-72 with 20 seconds remaining. Verge sank 1 of 2 free throws before Barisic hit the game-winner with 7 seconds left.
Massner sank 4 of 8 from 3-point range and snagged eight rebounds for the Leathernecks. Barisic finished with 12 points and nine boards, while Will Carius scored 11.
Verge topped the Cornhuskers with 26 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Freshman Bryce McGowens hit 10 of 12 free throws and scored 25 points.
Nebraska sank 23 of 31 free throws on the night, but made just 2 of 6 in the final 55 seconds. Western Illinois made 6 of 14 foul shots.