Men’s Basketball: McIntosh sparks Cats in second half


Sam Schumacher/The Daily Northwestern

Bryant McIntosh prepares to make a move. The sophomore point guard’s second-half play was the deciding factor in Wednesday’s victory over Fairfield.

Cole Paxton, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Bryant McIntosh knifed down the lane and through a pair of Fairfield defenders. When the ball hit the net and the whistle sounded, Northwestern had put the game away.

McIntosh’s layup and ensuing free throw gave the Cats a 73-65 lead over Fairfield with 52 seconds remaining, the final dagger in NU’s 79-72 win Wednesday night.

“I saw a little opening to the right,” McIntosh said. “We were wasting clock, and the way (the officials) have been calling the game lately, I was just trying to create contact and get to the foul line. I got all the way to the rim, was just able to put enough English on it.”

The sophomore point guard was a force throughout the second half. He scored 14 of his 20 points and added a trio of assists after the intermission.

In one stretch early in the half, McIntosh made a layup and a jumper in less than two minutes, then dished a pass between a pair of Fairfield defenders a short time later, giving senior center Alex Olah an easy score.

“He was making plays; he was finding guys.” coach Chris Collins said. “Even the shots he missed, he got so much attention that we got the tip-ins. I just thought he was sensational tonight.”

When the game was on the line, McIntosh came alive. He fed junior forward Sanjay Lumpkin perfectly for a layup with 5:52 remaining to extend NU’s lead to 66-60, and a few moments later added a floater of his own to give the Cats a 70-65 lead.

McIntosh also excelled defensively. He finished with a career high four steals, including a key takeaway from Fairfield guard Jerome Segura that set up his final drive and score.

McIntosh took control of the game when the outcome was in doubt. Despite just being a sophomore, that came as no surprise to his teammates.

“He carried us at the end of the game there,” Lumpkin said. “That’s just what he does.”

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