Men’s Basketball: Wildcats have no trouble with pressure-happy Texas defense


Daily file photo by Katie Pach

Isiah Brown knifes through the lane for a layup. The freshman guard poured in 10 points in the Wildcat’s win over Texas on Monday.

Aidan Markey, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Northwestern came into the Barclays Center expecting to battle on No. 22 Texas’ relentless defense. The team ended the night having handled the Longhorns’ pressure and then some.

En route to a dominant 77-58 victory, the Wildcats’ (3-1) executed in the face of the aggressive defensive strategy Texas (3-1) employs and smothered the Longhorns’ offense in the process.

NU’s ability to take care of the ball and to handle the press flustered their opponent from the Big 12. Texas tallied only four steals in the game, despite an active and energetic defensive effort. The Cats committed just 11 turnovers, and junior guard Bryant McIntosh, the team’s primary ball-handler, was responsible for just one.

McIntosh tallied 20 points on the night, while freshman guard Isiah Brown and junior guard Scottie Lindsey also showed poise in the backcourt. The duo combined for 26 points and, in the rare occasions when McIntosh was on the bench, led the Cats’ offense.

Lindsey said NU’s focus on its own defense helped it contain Texas’ hectic style of play.

“Once they got out on the break, we made sure we got back,” Lindsey said. “We really played great defense. That’s how we won.”

Texas’ starting backcourt trio was largely unable to get out in transition, managing a mere 21 combined points on the night and shooting 35 percent. In contrast, McIntosh, Lindsey and Brown shot almost 45 percent combined on the night.

As a whole, the Cats outperformed the Longhorns in 3-point percentage, field goal percentage and free throw percentage. In a game in which NU was expected to struggle with its opponent’s defensive prowess, the Cats came out and played as efficiently as they have at any point this season.

McIntosh said the team’s execution helped it win and earn a shot at the Legends Classic title.

“Coach (Chris) Collins gave us a great gameplan, and I’m really excited just how we came out with pop, and we weren’t afraid of the moment and the big lights,” McIntosh said. “We’re one win away now from having a trophy.”

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