Trendon Hankerson amassed 28 points, seven rebounds and three steals to help Northern Illinois score a season-opening, 71-64 win over Washington on Tuesday night in Seattle.
Northern Illinois, which is coming off a 3-16 season, won its first game under new coach Rashon Burno, who spent the past five seasons as an associate head coach at Arizona State.
Hankerson shot 9 of 15 from the field including 6 of 11 from 3-point range, and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line to help Northern Illinois hold off a late comeback attempt by Washington.
Terrell Brown Jr. led the hosts with 22 points and added five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Nate Roberts recorded 10 points and 19 boards.
Northern Illinois led 33-17 with 4:29 left in the first half on a Chinedu Kingsley Okanu layup before Washington answered with a 10-0 run to put itself back in the game.
Roberts’ two free throws with 5:47 left in the second half finally drew Washington even at 51. Roberts hit one of two foul shots 21 seconds later to give Washington the lead.
However, Hankerson answered with a 3-pointer with 4:33 to go to give Northern Illinois the lead back and start a 15-2 run that helped the visitors put the game out of reach.
Hankerson and Anthony Crump each made two free throws over the final 1:18 to seal the outcome.
Crump also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and he finished with six assists.
Washington shot only 26.7 percent (20 of 75) from the field and made only 3 of its 18 3-point shots (16.7 percent).
Northern Illinois shot 12 of 23 (52.2 percent) from 3-point range with Keshawn Williams and Kaleb Thornton each making two triples. Thornton also finished with four assists.
Northern Illinois finished in last place in the Mid-American Conference last season a year after finishing tied for first in the MAC West division before the COVID-19 pandemic canceled the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
–Field Level Media
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