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: Poor foul shooting hurts NU

Kevin Coble went to the foul line with slightly less than nine minutes left in the game Saturday, his team down three points to the visiting Boilermakers.

But playing at home with a friendly student section cheering him on wasn’t enough for him or many of the Wildcats at the line.

Coble missed both free-throws and all four he attempted on the night.

“That was frustrating,” Coble said. “They are free points, and you need to step up and make them.”

After Coble’s two missed free throws, the team continued on a scoring drought while the Boilermakers went on a 9-0 run in the next three minutes, burying any hope NU had of upsetting the Big Ten leaders. NU made just 9 of 16 free-throws (56 percent), but its shooting woes did not stop there.

“We were getting good looks, and we’ve got to make our foul shots,” NU coach Bill Carmody said. “They keep you in the game, and we didn’t do it.”

The Cats shot just 40 percent during the game including a dismal 36 percent in the second half, which wasn’t helped by a 1-of-11 streak to end the game after the Cats held a slim two-point lead with just under 10 minutes to play.

And while Purdue coach Matt Painter said his guards’ defense was part of the reason the Cats’ 3-point shooters weren’t having success, NU junior guard Craig Moore had a differing opinion.

“I don’t think anyone stopped me,” Moore said. “We’ve just got to put them in and finish (the shots) off. They bounced in and out for me tonight.”

Moore finished the night with just six points on 2-of-7 shooting, all of which were 3-point attempts. But long-range misses weren’t the Cats’ only flaws.

The team missed at least four easy layups in the first half, and with the exception of freshman center/forward Ivan Peljusic, the Cats weren’t getting many points in the paint.

Freshman guard Michael Thompson kept driving into traffic, only to have his shot blocked or miss a layup. He finished with 10 points but shot just 20 percent inside the arc.

“If some of those shots don’t get blocked or go in,” Carmody said, “we are in the game.”

The Cats had shots drop, including a 12-0 run in the middle of the second half. But the open looks failed to materialize into points past the 10-minute barrier, something that has happened multiple times this season.

“We had shots we could make and didn’t knock them down,” Carmody said. “At the end of the day you need to put the ball in the basket.”

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Men’s Basketball: Poor foul shooting hurts NU