By: Ryan Wangman
The Northwestern Wildcats (7-2) will aim for their fifth-straight win on Wednesday night against the Chicago State Cougars (3-6), who’ve lost four of its last five games.
Northwestern is coming off of a 83-49 victory over the New Orleans Privateers led by Nathan Taphorn’s career-high 18 points on 7-11 FGs. Taphorn added six rebounds and a steal to a career day, and the Wildcat’s bench combined for 41 points. Against the ‘Cats, the Privateers scored less than 50 points in a game for the first time since a 101-48 loss to Michigan State in December 2013.
Chicago State looks to rebound from a heartbreaking 45-43 defeat at the hands of Saint Louis University. The Cougars did not play particularly well, shooting 34 percent from the field and an abysmal 5 of 20 from the three point line. But even with their poor shooting, the Cougars had a chance to win in the closing seconds of the game, but Trayvon Palmer’s three-point attempt was blocked by Saint Louis’ Zeke Moore.
The Wildcats will need to contain Palmer (14.4 PPG, 8.8 RPG), and Chicago State’s leading scorer Fred Sims Jr. (17.9 PPG), in order to put themselves in a position to win. Chicago State led the Western Athletic Conference in offensive rebounds last season (12.93 ORBG), and returned 10 players from last year’s roster including three starters, so the battle on the boards will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
Northwestern will look to Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey to carry the offense, as both lead the team in scoring with 15.6 PPG.
The key for the Cats in this matchup is their assist-to-turnover ratio, which at 1.66, is the 9th best in NCAA. If NU can play unselfish basketball while also limiting their turnovers, they will be in a good position to win.
The Wildcats are in the middle of a stretch of eight consecutive games in the Chicagoland area, with seven games at Welsh-Ryan Arena and Saturday’s upcoming game against Dayton at the United Center. The Cougars haven’t seen their home court since Nov. 22, and this game against the Wildcat marks the sixth game of an eight game road trip.
WNUR Sports’ Sam Brief and Ryan Wangman will have the call from Welsh-Ryan Arena which can be heard online by CLICKING HERE.