Behind a stellar night from Bryant McIntosh, Northwestern moved to 3-2 in the Big Ten with a 70-65 win over the Wisconsin Badgers in front of an electric crowd at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
- With many calling this one a must-win for NU, it was great to see the ‘Cats come out and really control the game. Yes, Wisconsin hung around, but it always felt like Northwestern was going to leave this game with a W, even when Wisconsin led in the second half. Chris Collins had his guys ready to play.
- Bryant McIntosh had been somewhat quiet in the past two games, but started tonight with a bang. B-Mac scored 8 points, and assisted on two more buckets (while picking up a hockey assist on a third) and grabbed a rebound in the opening 10 minutes. McIntosh cooled off a bit to close the first half, but the extra attention he drew from the Wisconsin defense allowed other NU players to make plays, and he came out guns blazing in the second half, finishing the night with a game-leading 28 points.
- I really liked what Gavin Skelly gave Northwestern off the bench. Playing with a face mask, Skelly was more than just an energy guy tonight, getting a couple of big buckets and rebounds in the first half for the ‘Cats, and took a crucial charge down the stretch.
- Northwestern’s zone looked very active during this one, and it seemed to catch Wisconsin off-guard at times, just how active NU’s defenders were. Perhaps the most impressive part was Northwestern’s ability to force Wisconsin into late clock situations, an area they really struggled with on the night.
- While Tre Demps continued to struggle from outside, he didn’t seem to force as many shots up tonight, and as a result, had a better game overall, even if the stat line wasn’t overly impressive.
- Northwestern did a really good job of not committing very many fouls, which helped them get more opportunities from the foul line until the numbers evened out late in the ball game.
- Even with an early tip time, the atmosphere in Welsh-Ryan was great for this one, with a good amount of purple too. Credit Northwestern students for consistently showing up for this team, even after two straight home defeats. It even seemed like the crowd was able to get into the head of Wisconsin sophomore Jordan Hill, who air-balled an early three and never was able to recover.
- Death. Taxes. Northwestern struggling with a full-court press late in games. NU had couple of scary moments against Wisconsin’s full-court press at the end of this one that almost brought the game back into question had the Badgers been able to hit a couple of good looks.
- Wisconsin’s struggled early in the year, losing some head-scratchers, and it’s not hard to see why. The Badgers play good defense, but there’s no game breakers on offense, and they can really struggle when they need a bucket late in the clock.
- Red Panda is clearly the best halftime act there’s ever been, and ever will be. End of discussion. ICYMI, our own Erik Bremer provided the Play-By-Play of tonight’s performance.