For the first time since the 1930s, Northwestern won their first road games after defeating Minnesota 77-52 on Saturday afternoon behind a great performance from freshman Aaron Falzon. Here are our thoughts from the game:
- Aaron Falzon was an absolute monster, hitting 6-9 3-pointers and scoring a total of 20 points. Falzon came into Northwestern with a reputation as a knock-down shooter, and he furthered that reputation on the afternoon.
- When Alex Olah went down, Northwestern fans were rightfully worried about the low-post play, with only graduate transfer Joey Van Zegeren and Dererk Pardon avalible down low. However, other than the Loyola game, the first game after Olah went down, Northwestern has had strong play down low from both Pardon and Van Zegeren. That continued Sunday with Van Zegeren finishing with () points, while also putting in a good defensive performance, and magically finishing a perfect 3-3 from the line for a second consecutive game.
- Minnesota has been anchored at the bottom of my Big Ten power rankings along with Rutgers for a few weeks now, and they showed why today. The Gophers simply aren’t a good basketball team, and their offensive strategy on the afternoon appeared to consist entirely of either taking open 3-pointers with poor shooters, or driving wildly into the lane only to turn the ball over.
- Northwestern’s zone defense had a good afternoon, especially Van Zegeren down low protecting the rim.
- Bryant McInotsh had a great game, despite not putting up a huge number of points. Macintosh finished with 11 assists to go with his 7 points, always a great sign from a point guard.
- Dererk Pardon set the world on fire in his Big Ten debut against Nebraska, but struggled to get going today. For as long as Olah is out, Pardon will need to give NU some solid minutes off the bench.
- Nice game from Scottie Lindsey. Not always known for his offensive game, Lindsey finished today with a solid 9 points off the bench.
- Winning Big Ten road games is never easy, even against the dregs of the conference, so credit Northwestern for getting the job done in pretty easy fashion, even if it doesn’t exactly help the NCAA Tournament resume.
- It’s going to be a long year for Richard Pitino and the Gophers, and it’s fair to wonder if Pitino could be on the hot seat. There’s a legitimate chance Minnesota finishes the season with less than 4 conference wins, never a good sign for a Big Ten coach.
- This win makes it 3 in a row for the ‘Cats at The Barn, a pretty good streak for NU. As mentioned earlier, winning on the road in the B1G is never an easy task, so a streak like this says good things about Chris Collins and his squad.
- Any game that features Charlie Hall playing time is a good game in my book. #CharlieHallWoodenWatch.