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

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

The Daily Northwestern


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Men’s Basketball: NU forces 15 turnovers in road win

After Northwestern’s porous defense allowed Michigan to come out with a huge first-half lead and steal a 78-68 win Saturday, it showed signs of turning the corner Wednesday night against Chicago State. The same defense NU coach Bill Carmody called “bad” last Saturday held the Cougars to 47 points on 34 percent shooting.

But it took a tied game at the half to force the Wildcats to attack on defense.

“The defense sort of gave us our offense, and we went from there,” Carmody said. “I’d like to see this defense really take control, and we did that in the first five seconds of the second half, and your shots are a lot easier.”

NU used the zone much more effectively against the Cougars than it did against Michigan, helping the Cats stay competitive inside and on the defensive boards.

“Today we went with the 1-3-1 from the get-go,” Carmody said. “I think it served to help neutralize their quickness a little bit.”

The zone forced Chicago State to force passes inside, which led to multiple turnovers and forcing the Cougars to the perimeter. The Cats won the turnover battle, 15-8.

The Cougars shot only 16.7 percent from 3-point range and were only 2-of-13 in the second half. The Cats held Chicago State’s leading scorer, guard David Holston (23.8 points per game), to just 3-of-11 from beyond the arc. Holston had made 43 percent of his 3-point attempts before Wednesday.

“I thought (the Cats) went about attacking him a good way,” Carmody said. “He’s a guy that normally hits five 3s a game, so obviously we had to shake things his way.”

Forcing poor shooting and multiple deflections out of bounds helped seal the Cats’ win.

“It makes them reset (their play),” Moore said about deflections. “The shot clock is lower and they know there’s a guy there to steal the ball, and it takes away from their self-esteem.”

Although the Cats didn’t score off of every turnover, they dominated Chicago State with 17 points off turnovers compared to the Cougars’ three. The top two beneficiaries of those were sophomore forward Kevin Coble and Moore, who combined for 41 points.

As the Cats pulled ahead in the second half, they continued to maintain a strong presence inside, including a career-high 14 rebounds from Coble, who also finished with two steals and seven assists.

“I thought Kevin took it upon himself today to get every rebound,” Moore said. “We boxed out better, but you still need someone to clean up and having him work hard on the boards for us really helped us out.”

The Cats’ energy helped them out-rebound a taller team and take away second-chance points from the Cougars.

“We stepped it up,” Coble said. “With Jeremy (Nash) and Sterling (Williams) up top, we did a good job of keeping the ball from getting to our vulnerable spots. When we run the 1-3-1 well, it’s difficult to score on us regardless of who the other team is.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Men’s Basketball: NU forces 15 turnovers in road win