Men’s Basketball: Lindsey, Law reshaping Northwestern offense


Daily file photo by Rachel Dubner

Scottie Lindsey searches for a teammate. The junior scored a career-best 31 points against the Nittany Lions.

Dan Waldman, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

Throughout its non-conference campaign, Northwestern demonstrated a balanced offensive approach with a different style from last year’s team. And Tuesday, as they tipped off Big Ten play with an 87-77 road win over Penn State, the Wildcats yet again found success behind a high-powered scoring attack from its new offensive leaders.

Sophomore forward Vic Law and junior guard Scottie Lindsey began the game shooting a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, combining for 16 of the team’s first 22 points. The skilled scorers finished the first half with 26 points, giving the Cats (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten) a commanding 51-32 lead over the Nittany Lions (8-6, 0-1) at the break. Lindsey finished the game with a career-high 31 points and Law recorded his second career double-double, tallying 12 points and 12 rebounds.

“Lindsey was terrific,” coach Chris Collins said. “(It was) probably the best game of his career.”

Last year, NU relied on a core trio to create offensive opportunities. Center Alex Olah was a fixture in the high post, while guards Tre Demps and Bryant McIntosh led the team’s perimeter effort. But Olah and Demps graduated and with McIntosh, now a junior, mired in a shooting slump, others have stepped up to share the scoring load.

In the Cats’ win over Penn State, they showed their wings can produce positive results against conference opponents.

Lindsey and Law entered the game as the Cats’ No. 1 and No. 2 scorers, averaging 14.9 points per game and 13.7 points per game respectively. But the ease with which the two attacked the rim exemplifies NU’s offensive transformation. Lindsey was particularly aggressive and led the Cats in their dominant first-half finish.

“Lindsey was on fire,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said. “We put multiple people on him, and he was still able to find the bottom of the basket.”

Lindsey set the tone from deep, going 5-of-8 on 3s. Law was hot to begin the game and dominated inside, and though he later cooled as a scorer, he created opportunities from start to finish — ending with five assists and pulling down five offensive boards to keep NU possessions alive.

Lindsey, though, remained a scoring threat well into the second half.

“I came in really confident,” Lindsey said. “Me and my teammates wanted to send a message so we just came out really confident, played really hard and my shots were falling. I wanted to stay aggressive the whole game.”

Overall, the game showed the direction in which the Cats’ offense is trending.

Even if McIntosh finds a groove and begins to make a bigger dent in the stat sheet, Lindsey and Law look ready to be season-long contributors on the offensive end. Lindsey continues to exceed expectations with each passing game and Law’s presence as a slasher has created opportunities for teammates and reduced McIntosh’s need to be an every-play shot creator.

Tuesday’s contest featured NU’s best Big Ten scoring output on the road since 2011. Lindsey starred on the night, but the balanced scoring and overall aggressiveness bode well as the Cats look to find season-long success behind a revamped offensive look.

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