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: Coble has career night in NU loss

Northwestern went into halftime against No. 15 Indiana with a lead, something the Wildcats have done twice this week against a Big Ten foe. But while that was a shock, the bigger surprise was the re-emergence of Kevin Coble as the Cats’ go-to guy.

He shot 5 of 6 from 3-point range while playing solid defense against the inside force that is Indiana forward D.J. White.

Coble held the big man to 16 points and 11 rebounds and stripped several passes headed White’s way.

“Defense and rebounding can get you a long way,” Coble said. “I don’t want to be known as just a one-dimensional player and defense is something you can control every night, whereas you don’t always know where your shots will go.”

But in a game in which the Cats may have played some of their best basketball of the season, Coble may have played the best ball of his career.

He finished with 37 points – the eighth highest total in NU history – on 75-percent shooting and made 8 of 8 free throws. He also added five rebounds and two steals.

Coble, who has struggled of late, received a pep talk from his coach before the game.

“I knew he hadn’t played well in the past few games,” coach Bill Carmody said. “So I pulled him aside and told him ‘Let’s see what you can do tonight.'”

Coble answered his coach’s challenge by scoring more than both Indiana’s White and freshman phenom Eric Gordon with his second 30-point performance of the season.

Two games after missing all four of his free throws, Coble was perfect from the line. He also managed to come through in the clutch when the team needed him.

In the final five minutes, Coble hit two 3-pointers to tie the game and then give the Cats a lead with less than three minutes left against one of the top teams in the Big Ten.

“Everybody hit a big shot, not just me,” Coble said. “It was a fun stretch of basketball in the final where when they made a shot, we came right back down and answered.”

When the Cats ran the give-and-go, Coble scored quite a few easy baskets and helped get the fans back into the game.

Coble’s presence on the court drew raves from his teammates.

“He played a great game and helped us on defense, which was a plus,” freshman guard Michael Thompson said. “He was the hot guy on offense so when we saw he was open we tried to get it in his hands.”

Even though it was Thompson and not Coble who took the Cats’ last shot, Carmody said it had more to do with what the team needed and not about Coble’s hot hand.

Regardless of who took the shot that might have given the Cats the upset, Coble once again showed that he has the ability to carry the team.

“We deserved to win this game,” Coble said. “Our offense and defense is finally coming together a little bit. We had a couple of chances to win, but it didn’t go our way.”

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Men’s Basketball: Coble has career night in NU loss