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Men’s Basketball: Northwestern’s bench falters in shootout loss to Creighton

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Men’s Basketball: Northwestern’s bench falters in shootout loss to Creighton

Anthony Gaines drives to the basket. The freshman guard scored 1 of Northwestern’s 4 bench points Wednesday.

Anthony Gaines drives to the basket. The freshman guard scored 1 of Northwestern’s 4 bench points Wednesday.

Brian Meng/The Daily Northwestern

Anthony Gaines drives to the basket. The freshman guard scored 1 of Northwestern’s 4 bench points Wednesday.

Brian Meng/The Daily Northwestern

Brian Meng/The Daily Northwestern

Anthony Gaines drives to the basket. The freshman guard scored 1 of Northwestern’s 4 bench points Wednesday.

Jonah Dylan, Sports Editor

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Men’s Basketball


ROSEMONT — Sophomore center Barret Benson went 3 for 6 from the free throw line in Wednesday’s 92-88 loss to Creighton. A 50 percent clip from the line isn’t usually something to write home about, but those 3 points represented 75 percent of Northwestern’s bench points on the night.

The Wildcats (2-1) were outscored 33-4 in bench points by the Bluejays (3-0), as NU had to lean on its starters to play heavy minutes. Senior guard Bryant McIntosh played 40 minutes while junior forward Vic Law logged 39.

“There’s a togetherness and a bond with this team,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “They get along extremely well.”

Wednesday’s was a team effort as the Bluejays had four players score in double figures, including freshman guard Ty-Shon Alexander’s career-high 14 off the bench. Creighton had four bench players outscore the Cats’ bench single-handedly.

For NU, freshman guard Anthony Gaines logged 23 minutes off the bench but scored just 1 point. Benson played 9 minutes, sophomore guard Isiah Brown had 5 and junior guard Jordan Ash saw just two minutes of playing time.

Coach Chris Collins said he likes the way Gaines is progressing so far.

“He can be a guy, as he continues to settle in, where you can pass it ahead to him, he can attack the basket,” Collins said. “He’s learning, he’s taking it all in. For a freshman, I think he’s done very well … I think tonight was a great learning experience for him.”

The Cats are still looking to find ways to replace forwards Sanjay Lumpkin and Nathan Taphorn. Senior forward Gavin Skelly has taken over Lumpkin’s starting job, but without Skelly and Taphorn coming off the bench to pace the second unit, NU has run into lots of trouble. Neither Brown nor Ash have given the Cats significant minutes, and redshirt freshman forward Rapolas Ivanauskas has yet to see the floor.

Sophomore forward Aaron Falzon, who missed all of last season and still hasn’t played this campaign, dressed for the first time this season tonight. McIntosh said getting Falzon back will be a huge help for NU.

“We all know he’s a tremendous shooter,” McIntosh said. “He’s also has just a lot of energy. He talks, you can see him bounce around and that energy can spread and provide us energy as well.”

But without Falzon on Wednesday night, the Cats couldn’t hang with the Bluejays’ high-flying attack. Collins distilled the loss down to two stats.

“You get outscored 48 to 26 in the paint and 33 to 4 in the bench, it’s probably not gonna be a good result,” he said. “Those are things we have to improve upon.”

Email: jonahdylan2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @thejonahdylan

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