Men’s Basketball: McIntosh and Demps shine in NU’s OT win


Sam Schumacher/The Daily Northwestern

Tre Demps passes the ball inside. The senior guard chipped in 22 points and six assists while playing every minute in the Wildcats’ win.

Joseph Wilkinson, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Northwestern (3-0) earned a hard-fought victory Friday, defeating Columbia (1-2) 83-80 in overtime.

Guards Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps led the team, as McIntosh scored a career-high 32 points, including multiple clutch buckets crucial in NU’s victory.

Twice, McIntosh came through in pivotal moments, as he crossed over a Columbia defender and hit a jumper to put NU up 82-78 with 24 seconds remaining in overtime, and earlier in the game he hit a shot from the baseline to force a tie at 74 with under a minute to go in regulation.

While McIntosh’s 32 led the team, Demps added 22 points. For McIntosh, this game was his second straight impressive performance following a 20-point effort Wednesday against Fairfield.

“Tre and I were just trying to attack them and get to the basket,” McIntosh said. “That’s why we put up the scoring output. It’s just the fact that we were attacking the basket and getting all the way to the rim.”

Coach Chris Collins leaned on the duo throughout the game, with Demps playing the entire 45 minutes of the game and McIntosh on the court with him for 43 of those.

For Demps, this game represented a significant step forward following two slow performances to start the year.

“Tre was back to being Tre tonight,” Collins said. “He wants it so badly. He’s a senior, he wants to win, he wants to be that guy and sometimes that can work against you. I think he just got back to playing and made strong moves.”

Demps opened the game attacking off the dribble and remained aggressive throughout the game, getting to the rim on a crucial bucket that cut Columbia’s lead to 74-70 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. He finished the game shooting 9-of-19 from the field.

McIntosh, meanwhile, scored 15 of his points on five-of-six shooting from behind the 3-point line. Demps added 12 points of his own from deep range, including a 3-pointer with just under a minute remaining in overtime to extend NU’s lead to 80-76.

“If you look at my career, probably ever since I was little, I’ve always struggled at the beginning of seasons,” Demps said. “Credit to coach and my teammates for telling me to forget about that and telling me, ‘Throw yourself into competing and playing and not thinking about it too much.’”

In addition to his effort from behind the line, McIntosh’s ability to get to the hoop troubled the Columbia defense throughout the game, as the Lions struggled to defend the sophomore’s pick-and-rolls with centers Alex Olah and Joey van Zegeren.

The backcourt duo catalyzed a key Wildcats run early in the second half, as Demps assisted on a McIntosh 3, and then drained a 3 of his own thanks to an assist from McIntosh to cut the Columbia lead to 56-48 with under 12 minutes remaining in regulation. This was part of a sequence in which the duo scored or assisted on 20 consecutive NU points.

For the game, the two guards combined for 54 of Northwestern’s 83 points while also dishing out a combined 12 of the team’s 19 assists.

“There’s no question we rely on our guards,” Collins said. “I was really proud of those two kids. I thought they played like stars tonight against a really good backcourt.”

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