ANN ARBOR, MI – Coming off a troublesome house loss to Rutgers, Northwestern (12-5, 3-3 Huge Ten) hopes to bounce again in opposition to Michigan (10-7, 4-2 Huge Ten) when it travels to Ann Arbor for a Sunday matinee matchup. Sadly, the Cats suffered their first street loss in Huge Ten play, falling to the Wolverines 85-78.
A layup by senior ahead Robbie Beran opened the scoring for the Cats, who struggled offensively to begin the sport, capturing 3-of-8 from the sector. Whereas protection has been a calling card for the Wildcats all season, the Wolverines saved the rating ticking early. By way of the primary 4 media timeouts, NU had seen its deficit develop to seven, with the Wolverines capturing 3-for-4 from deep, in comparison with an 0-for-3 begin for the Cats.
Coach Chris Collins spoke of the extraordinary struggles of the Cats’ protection throughout Sunday’s conflict.
“Within the second half, it was our lack of ability to get stops once we wanted them,” Collins stated. “Michigan made extra performs than us, made extra photographs than us, and so they did the issues that deserved to win as we speak.”
NU received the offense going after two dunks from senior heart Matthew Nicholson. Resulting from early foul bother within the first couple of minutes of the competition, the Clarkston, Michigan native needed to be subbed out early, leaving the Cats undermanned within the paint.
Whereas NU noticed its deficit develop to 12 within the first half, environment friendly back-to-back possessions on the offensive finish and tighter protection helped restrict the injury. Beran’s three was adopted by a quick break dunk by sophomore guard Brooks Barnhizer turned the Cats round and led to a 7-0 run. After a sizzling begin offensively, NU held the Wolverines to 6 factors over a five-minute stretch. On the finish of the primary half, Beran led all scorers with 12 factors, 5-for-6 from the sector.
The Cats continued to combat regardless of the handicap they confronted. Collins emphasised the significance of his crew’s means to take action.
“This group has amazed me all yr when it comes to their combat, their will, and their aggressive spirit,” Collins stated. “We have been upset with the way in which we performed within the first eight minutes. For us to take the lead at halftime, it exhibits who our crew is and who we have been all yr.
The Cats are beginning to get up offensively after a sluggish begin. A pair of threes by redshirt senior Chase Audige pushed NU to its first lead of the sport on the four-minute mark. The Cats maintained their lead within the remaining minutes of the primary half with factors off turnovers. A steal by Audige that led to a quick break floater and a steal by Barnhizer that led to a transition three by sophomore guard Julian Roper II gave the Cats a 39-37 lead on the finish of the primary half. Audige continued his stellar play on the defensive finish with 5 steals, main the crew.
Collins famous the dichotomy of forcing 18 turnovers however surrendering 85 factors in opposition to the Wolverines.
“We’re energetic on the paths, particularly Chase,” Collins stated. “He is the perfect defender and stealer within the convention. We had energetic arms at occasions, however we received a bit drained within the second half.
The offensive firepower that the Cats completed with within the first half was not a lot in proof at first of the second half. A pair of NU’s three-minute scoring drought within the second half noticed the Cats going through a nine-point deficit on the half. They shot a poor 1/9 from deep within the second half.
Whereas the Wildcats struggled offensively, they saved getting steals, which allowed them to remain inside placing distance within the second half. Again-to-back steals by senior guard Boo Buie, Audige and Roper led to quick break transition free throws, chopping the Cats’ deficit to at least one. Nonetheless, continued poor capturing down the stretch brought on the Wolverines to regain a double-digit lead within the remaining minutes of the sport.
Collins recognized the crew’s recreation plan with Michigan’s assault on protection to finally generate a fast-paced offense.
“We need to attempt to assault once we can, particularly after they play greater guys and run them up and down the ground as rapidly as potential,” Collins stated. “Whether or not we have now a excessive rebound or pressure a turnover, we wish our guys to push the ball and get out within the open court docket and see if we will get any alternatives earlier than their protection units up. ”
A lot of the Cats’ offense within the second half revolved round Buie. A spinning reverse layup and a Nicholson dunk assisted by the New York native helped the Wildcats get out of a number of scoreless sketches. Later, the senior guard scored 16 of his game-high 22 factors within the second half. Regardless of Buie’s late scoring, the Wolverines’ continued scoring put the sport out of attain for the Cats.
Looking forward to Wednesday, when the Cats journey to Iowa Metropolis, Collins acknowledged the necessity for his crew to carry out at a better degree defensively to attain higher outcomes.
“We have now to recommit ourselves to taking part in higher protection,” he stated. “We won’t go away 85 factors on the street and count on to win, so we have now to verify earlier than our subsequent recreation.”
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— Fast Recap: Michigan 85, Northwestern 78
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