In what was perhaps the ugliest game Northwestern fans will see all season, the Wildcats fell 65-56 to the Ohio State Buckeyes at Welsh-Ryan Arena Wednesday. Here are some news and notes from the contest:
–Just six seconds into the game the officials paused the contest for a malfunctioning shot clock, which proved to be a perfect omen for what was to come in the first half.
-The Buckeyes and Wildcats shot a combined 4-23 on three-point attempts and 7-15 on free throws during the first 20 minutes. If you didn’t think that things could get worse, two of those seven makes were back-to-back banks from Joey van Zegeren.
-On a better note for JVZ, he and Trevor Thompson both had monster slams in the early going. And most shots that found the bottom of the cylinder were lay-ups or dunks. More than 64 percent of points scored in the first half came from inside the paint.
-Northwestern thrived off second-chance points too. Pardon and Skelly grabbed five of nine first half offensive boards for NU and each scored four points during the first half to push the ‘Cats to a one-point lead at the break.
-The game remained a back-and-forth affair for a while. No team led by more than nine points until the Buckeyes pulled away in the final four minutes. Kam Williams made up for everyone else’s shooting woes by going 8-13 from the floor and 5-9 from deep, pouring in 21 points.
-Bryant McIntosh was the only Wildcat to get to double figures, finishing with 15 points, but he needed 15 shots to do so. The sophomore also had 7 rebounds and 5 assists.
-This game showed that when Northwestern is not shooting well, they will be in trouble. Big trouble. The offense is not dynamic enough to get to the hoop or the free throw line enough. The ‘Cats cannot afford to shoot 25 percent from deep. And Demps and Falzon can’t shoot a combined 21 percent on 28 attempts.
-Ohio State may have beat Kentucky, but they are not a great team and did not play a great game Wednesday. Northwestern’s stock is certainly down right now, but the ‘Cats still had a solid defensive outing and can rebound Saturday against Minnesota.