Silent Ceremony Doesn’t Quiet Doyle (Men’s Basketball)

Andrew Simon

By Andrew SimonThe Daily Northwestern

On Senior Night at Welsh-Ryan Arena, the Northwestern seniors were honored for the years of hard work and dedication they have given to the Wildcats’ program.

Unfortunately for them, the public address system malfunctioned, meaning the festivities had to go by in silence. The ceremony was repeated after the game, this time with sound. But by that point, NU had already fallen just short of pulling off an upset against Indiana.

“You knew that on Senior Night … how hard their kids play, they just scrapped,” Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson said. “I mean, they played their hearts out.”

Coach Bill Carmody shook up the starting lineup, putting in all four of his outgoing players to begin the game.

That meant the Cats opened with centers Vince Scott and Ivan Tolic on the court, along with forward Tim Doyle. Seldom-used guard Joe Kennedy also got his first career start.

“I just think (the seniors) have contributed a lot to this program, even the guys who don’t play that much, like Joe Kennedy,” Carmody said. “Joe is going to be a coach some day, I know, because he’s not that smart.”

With Kennedy, Scott and Tolic combining to score just two points in 30 minutes, Doyle grabbed the Senior Night spotlight.

The fifth-year senior failed to match his usual success driving to the basket and managed only two points in the first half. But in the second half, he pulled it together and closed his final game in Evanston with a bang.

Doyle poured in 15 points in the second half and finished the contest with eight assists, leaving him 11 short of tying the Cats’ career record with at least two games remaining.

“I missed a couple of shots in the first half, which was disappointing,” Doyle said. “I was happy I didn’t get down on myself at halftime. I came out and thought I had a strong second half.”

With the seniors playing their final game in front of the home crowd, the younger Cats provided some hope for the future.

Freshman Kevin Coble had 13 points and eight rebounds. As well, NU received significant contributions from freshman Jeff Ryan and sophomores Craig Moore and Sterling Williams.

Those three players combined for 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting. In the previous four conference games, they had notched a total of 30.

“Craig went to the basket a few times which was good to see,” Carmody said. “Sterling was aggressive and got his hands on some balls and was part of that lineup that brought us back. And Jeff’s been playing pretty well. I liked the way he played tonight.”

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