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: Moore shoots way out of doghouse

After getting taken out of practice for a lack of effort by coach Bill Carmody on Wednesday, junior guard Craig Moore had to do something to get out of the doghouse. Not only was his leadership and effort questioned in practice, but he was also shooting just 9 of 41 from 3-point range in conference play.

But he responded Thursday night by scoring a career-high 28 points against Michigan State, although he was a game-time decision to start.

“I didn’t expect (to get taken out of practice),” Moore said. “I thought that coach was mad at me a little. But it’s a place I’ve been before.”

Moore’s “coming-out party,” as Michigan State coach Tom Izzo called it, mirrored the Spartans’ Drew Neitzel’s offensive game.

Both guards made at least six 3-pointers on better than 50 percent shooting. Moore was 10 of 18 from the floor and 7 of 14 beyond the arc, tying the NU record for 3-point field goals.

But where Neitzel was a machine for the Spartans, Moore made things a little more interesting with an onslaught of low-percentage shots.

With the Wildcats fighting to keep the game close in the final three minutes, Moore took a shot from behind the backboard and saw it swish through the net.

“That Hail Mary Moore threw up in the corner was a big play,” Izzo said.

Moore provided a huge boost for the Cats when he drained 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, giving the Cats nine points in 42 seconds to cut a 22-point Spartan lead to 15.

“Shooting-wise it gave me a bit of a lift,” Moore said. “Although I was either swishing or airballing it. But it definitely gave me a little confidence.”

During that stretch, Moore didn’t just provide an offensive boost; he also took a charge and grabbed a loose ball.

The extra intensity on defense warmed Carmody up a little to Moore – but only if it continues to happen.

“(Before the game) I didn’t think he was providing enough leadership,” Carmody said. “But he came through and shot the ball well against a team that was trying to stop him. He should do that more often.”

By having his coach question his leadership, Moore took the game into his hands and led by example.

With three steals and a block, his only weakness was a lack of assists in a game where Neitzel took point guard Michael Thompson out of the game with his defense.

Now Moore needs to take his positive shooting momentum and hope it carries over to the team and possibly a conference win.

“Right now we’re at the bottom, looking up,” Moore said. “We just have to build off what was positive for the team and work on what was negative.”

Reach Brian Regan at [email protected].

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Men’s Basketball: Moore shoots way out of doghouse