Northwestern came into Friday’s tilt with Columbia undefeated, and nearly left with a disappointing loss. That all changed in the second half, as Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps led a furious comeback and the ‘Cats stunned Columbia, 83-80 in overtime.
Here are a few quick takeaways from the game:
- Happy Birthday, Bryant McIntosh. McIntosh had undoubtedly the best game of his young career, scoring a career-high 32 points and dealing six assists. McIntosh also went 5-6 from beyond the arc and hit the game tying shot in the final minute of regulation to send the game to overtime. If he doesn’t go off, NU doesn’t win this game, and the ‘Cats may have even lost by double-digits.
- Tre Demps also had himself a nice game, scoring 22 points and dishing out six assists. Demps also nearly hit a game-winning buzzer beater at the end of regulation, but his shot hit the front rim and bounced out.
- Columbia started the game ablaze from three-point range. The Lions started 7-11 from deep, but finished only 10-24. While Columbia cooled down a bit, those threes were a big key in putting the Lions ahead early and making Northwestern play catch-up.
- Lions forward Alex Rosenberg can really ball. The senior gave Northwestern fits on defense all night long. Collins had to switch who was guarding Rosenberg often, as Nathan Taphorn and Aaron Falzon struggled and Sanjay Lumpkin fouled out relatively early.
- Rosenberg finished with 17 points and five boards, but was limited in the second half thanks to solid D by Gavin Skelly. Skelly contributed on the offensive end, too, grabbing a dunk late in regulation to keep Northwestern in it. His energy was critical in this game, but the mood was soured a bit as he seemed to hurt his ankle defending the final play of the game. We’ll keep an eye on his status.
- Alex Olah had a rough game for the ‘Cats. The senior big man had only eight points and seven rebounds while also picking up a technical foul midway through the second half after swinging his arms going after a loose ball. Olah fouled out late in the overtime period. His first half was worse, as he went scoreless on 0-1 shooting. His contributions will be needed more and more as the season goes on, so Northwestern can’t afford too many off-nights from the big Romanian.
- The comeback was sweet for the ‘Cats, but Chris Collins can’t be too happy with the team’s execution at times during the game. Lions shooters were constantly left wide open behind the three-point line following poor rotations, missed Columbia free throws were often not boxed out by the Wildcats, and Columbia back-cutters routinely got to the rim unguarded. The fact that Northwestern won this game while suffering so many mental breakdowns is amazing, but something the ‘Cats can’t afford to do going forward.