Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

51° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement

Second-round loss to Spartans sends Cats packing (Men’s Basketball)

INDIANAPOLIS ? Northwestern was forced to bury its postseasonhopes at Conseco Fieldhouse after suffering a second-round loss atthe Big Ten tournament.

The Wildcats (14-15, 8-8 Big Ten) exited the tournament one winshy of finishing the season at .500, which made them ineligible forthe National Invitation Tournament.

Sixth-seeded NU defeated No. 11 seed Penn State 57-52 in theopening round ? the Cats? third victory in Big Ten tournamenthistory ? but then came up at the wrong end of a 68-55 contestagainst No. 3 seed MichiganState.����

?It wasn?t so much what we were doing wrong,? guard Evan Seacatsaid. ?They were hitting all their shots and we were missing. Weknew they were going to have to miss their shots and we were goingto have to hit ours and rebound if we were going to have a chanceto win.?

The Cats kept pace with Michigan State until midway through thefirst half, when the Spartans, who were coming off 11 days of rest,broke away.�

NU failed to notch a field goal in the final eight and a halfminutes of the first half ? giving the Spartans a chance to build a13-point lead.

The Spartans won the battle of the boards, out rebounding theCats 35-21, Michigan State hit 61.9 percent if its attempts fromthe field, including 57 percent of its three-pointers. The Spartansbackcourt burned the Cats with their torrid outside shooting.Guards Maurice Ager, Shannon Brown and Chris Hill combined for 41points and 6 of 10 from beyond the arc.

The sharpshooting Spartans picked apart the Cats? matchup zonewith ease until the second half when NU switched to man-to-man. Butby then Michigan State already had completed a 12-2 run early inthe second half and put the game out of reach for NU.

?We just really couldn?t break through until they got a nicelead,? coach Bill Carmody said.�?It seemed like any timethey were open and had to come up with a shot, they knocked itdown.?

The Cats forced 18 turnovers, but failed to capitalize on theirextra chances. NU managed to convert only 38.6 percent of itschances from the field and 34.8 percent from downtown.

Young, who earned all-tournament honors, led NU with a 24-pointperformance. The senior guard was the only player to be named tothe all-tournament team who didn?t play in the Big Ten championshipgame.

Despite his strong effort during the Michigan State game, Youngmade only 6 of 15 free throws. And his teammates didn?t find solaceat the foul line either. The Cats nailed just 13 of 27, for aseason-low 48.1 percent.

The season-ending loss to the Spartans came one day after NUedged Penn State in a record-breaking game.

Young had a career-high eight steals, a single-game tournamentrecord. Vukusic tied the previous record with six steals. The Catsfinished with 22 steals in the victory, one fewer than theconference single-game record.

?I thought we were all over the place with our hands and ourbodies,? Carmody said. ?Physically we were doing as well as wecould do.?

Even still, the Cats missed routine layups and settled for looksfrom the outside, where they hit just 5 of 25 attempts.�

But down the stretch, Mohamed Hachad and Vedran Vukusic poweredNU with a 7-0 spurt.

In the end though, it wasn?t the offense that sealed the victoryagainst Penn State.

?The zone defense took over,? Hachad said. ?The press workedwell. We were all pretty tired. It was a tough game. Not a goodgame. We played hard, and the shots just went in at the end.?

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Second-round loss to Spartans sends Cats packing (Men’s Basketball)