The NUmbers Guy: Northwestern basketball’s big weekend
WNUR Sports Director Jim Sannes (@JimSannes) takes a look at this past weekend in Northwestern Wildcat basketball, where both the men and women were able to pick up wins in impressive fashion.At the end of this weekend, it was apparent that there were a lot of winners. The obvious ones are Blue Ivy Carter (for having the coolest freaking parents on the planet) and America (because their collective ears were blessed with the sound of Paul Harvey’s voice during the “God made a farmer” commercial). After that, though, I think it’s clear that Northwestern basketball was third on this list, edging out the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. The ‘Cats went 2-0 on the hardwood with the men defeating Purdue 75-60 on Saturday and the women defeating #24/25 Iowa 67-65 on Sunday. GET ON THEIR LEVEL, RAVENS.
9: Reggie Hearn hit his first nine shots on Saturday, leading to a career-high 26 points.
In case you didn’t read my slob-fest over Reggie a few weeks ago, I LOVE THIS MAN. His previous career high was 23 against Mississippi Valley State, and he had 21 in the first half against Purdue. Hearn also picked up five rebounds and only had one turnover. Purdue is not a good team, but after the way the ‘Cats had played their previous two games, my expectations were low. Hearn was able to turn around his own struggles (a combined 4-19 from the field against Nebraska and Michigan) and lead Northwestern to victory. Heeeeeeeeey, Reggie, rock me.
68.0%: The men’s team shot 68 percent from the floor in the first half.
For context, the ‘Cats are shooting 65.5 percent on the season… on free throws. This performance was stupid good. Hearn was 9-10 in the first half, and Dave Sobolewski was 3-4 for a combined 29 points, equaling Purdue’s output for the period. From behind the 3-point arch, Northwestern shot 66.7 percent in first half, 1.87 times higher than their season percentage (.357). Purdue beat Northwestern in almost every statistical category (points in the paint, points off turnovers, 2nd chance points, fast break points, bench points, rebounds), but the ‘Cats shot the lights out. Purdue even had as many offensive rebounds Saturday (24) as Alex Olah has this entire season. If Northwestern can find a way to shoot like this down the stretch, LOOK OUT, NIT! WE COMING FOR YOU!
0:01: Karly Roser’s game-winning lay-up for the women’s team came with one second left on the clock.
I used to only love Canada for Justin Morneau and William Shatner, but you can add Karly Roser to that list. If it weren’t for Drake and Justin Bieber, this country would be flawless. I’m not the only one dishing out Canadian love:
Thank God for Canada! Karly Roser with the buzzer beater! Coming home with a win 👍 #B1GCats
— Maggie Lyon (@mlyon25) February 3, 2013
In their last five games, the women’s basketball team is 3-2, including their last-second win over the ranked Hawkeyes Sunday. Their only two losses were close ones to #12 Purdue and a Michigan State team that is receiving votes for the top 25. The ‘Cats trailed Iowa by 15 in the second half but were able to grab the victory. I’m singing this to Joe McKeown as I write this (because Carly Rae Jepsen is also from Canada).
21.3: Alex Cohen was able to grab eight rebounds in 15 minutes of action. Over 40 minutes, that projects to 21.3 rebounds.
If you’re searching for a candidate for breakout performer in Big Ten play, look no further than Alex Cohen. The 6’5” sophomore has done the most with the minutes she has gotten, and has seen her minutes increase as a result (from 12.7 in non-conference play to 15.7 in conference). In Big Ten play, Cohen has the highest field goal percentage (.538) among those that have taken at least 25 shots. I would love to see her get more minutes, but it’s hard to decide whom to take away from. Dannielle Diamant and Kendall Hackney, the team’s senior leaders, dominate the front court, and that’s where Cohen is best suited. This is a good problem to have. She could have a great year next year when she gets the chance to shine.
97.1: The starters between the two teams combined for 133 of 137 (97.1%) total points.
Okay, so this is kind of a negative statistic. Yes, both teams need more scoring contribution from the bench. Yes, it’s kind of odd that the two teams were able to win despite having their respective benches outscored 58-4. BUT WHO CARES??? The starters played outstanding basketball. Wins feel good. Pitchers and catchers report soon. NASCAR starts in two weeks. It is NFL Draft-talk season. YOU LITERALLY CANNOT BRING ME DOWN RIGHT NOW. To ensure your day goes just as well, there’s this video below. No, I don’t know what they’re saying. But it’s awesome.