The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Basketball: Wildcats ride veterans to win over Bears

Bobby Pillote, Reporter

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With junior guard JerShon Cobb out for a second consecutive game, Northwestern turned to its most experienced players.

The Wildcats (7-5) defeated the Brown Bears (6-4) 58-52 on Sunday at Welsh-Ryan Arena thanks largely to the efforts of senior forward Drew Crawford and junior guard Dave Sobolewski. Cobb, the team’s second leading scorer, remained sidelined with a sprained ankle.

Crawford, NU’s leading scorer this season at over 15 points per game, dominated the first half with 17 points and six rebounds. The veteran also contributed the Cats’ only 3-pointers of the opening frame.

Sobolewski played the trusty sidekick as starting point guard and supplemented Crawford’s efforts with five assists and four rebounds of his own in the first period.

Beyond NU’s two stalwarts, the team had a dormant first half. No player besides Crawford had more than two points, and excluding Crawford’s 3’s, the rest of the team went a dismal 0-for-7 from beyond the arc.

The Cats were down 27-25 at halftime.

NU clawed its way to victory with a more balanced attack in the second half. Sophomore center Alex Olah stepped into his role as the unheralded big man and quietly finished with five rebounds and 10 points, including his first 3-pointer of the season.

A late surge from sophomore Kale Abrahamson also helped the Cats reverse their fate. The forward chipped in 11 points and dominated the glass after halftime to finish with nine rebounds.

But Crawford remained the hero. Following his 26-point performance in NU’s last game against Mississippi Valley State, the senior finished with 24 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

Despite the victory, concerns such as depth of the bench and performance beyond the arc remain for the Cats as they near their conference schedule. NU finished 6-for-26 from 3-point range against Brown, with half of the makes coming from Crawford.

The Cats wrap up their nonconference schedule Friday against DePaul before preparing to start Big Ten play Jan. 2 against Wisconsin.

— Bobby Pillote

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About the Writer
Bobby Pillote, Gameday Editor

Bobby is a McCormick junior studying industrial engineering and psychology. His past positions at The Daily include sports editor and assistant sports editor. He has covered football, men’s and women’s basketball, lacrosse and men’s soccer as a reporter. The Bethesda, Maryland native previously worked as a research intern for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. You can reach Bobby via Twitter or email.