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Rapid Recap: No. 20 Northwestern 82, La Salle 74

Bryant+McIntosh+prepares+to+shoot.+The+senior+guard+tallied+21+points+in+Saturday%27s+win+over+La+Salle.
Bryant McIntosh prepares to shoot. The senior guard tallied 21 points in Saturday's win over La Salle.

Bryant McIntosh prepares to shoot. The senior guard tallied 21 points in Saturday's win over La Salle.

Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Daily file photo by Brian Meng

Bryant McIntosh prepares to shoot. The senior guard tallied 21 points in Saturday's win over La Salle.

Aidan Markey, Digital Managing Editor

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Men’s Basketball


There was a different Northwestern team on the court Saturday.

Following a loss to Creighton in which the No. 20 Wildcats (3-1) gave up 92 points, NU bounced back and dominated La Salle (3-1) in a 82-74 win in the semifinals of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off on Saturday. The Cats looked sharp, focused and more committed defensively during the majority of the win.

Following a back-and-forth first few minutes, NU seized the lead and never let go of it.

The Explorers, led by senior B.J. Johnson’s 22 points, rallied to narrow their deficit in the second half. However, the Cats consistently responded and halted the series of runs.

Senior guard Bryant McIntosh spearheaded the offense for NU, frequently penetrating the defense to score or dish out an assist. He finished with 21 points and 7 assists, while senior guard Scottie Lindsey added 20 points and 6 rebounds.

After missing most of last season following a knee surgery, Aaron Falzon made his season debut in Saturday’s victory. The sophomore forward sharpshooter finished with 11 points and 3 3-pointers in 18 minutes.

Following the win, the Cats now face Texas Tech on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. in the finals of the tournament.

Takeaways

1. Cats wake up after poor showing versus Creighton. After NU was unable to contain the fact-paced attack of the Bluejays on Wednesday, the Cats exhibited a solid defense for most of the game against the Explorers. Consistent defensive pressure by NU restricted La Salle to just 24 points in the first half and to just 23.8 percent from three in the game.

2. Falzon’s return is great news for NU. Adding the sophomore forward into the lineup means a more productive bench, another strong 3-point shooting option and less pressure on the backcourt trio of McIntosh, Lindsey and Law. Though it might take a few games for Falzon to get into the swing of things, the outlook for the Cats is much brighter when he is in uniform. Coach Chris Collins has another weapon to deploy off the bench, and Falzon will be a welcome addition after the bench was outscored 33-4 in Wednesday’s loss to Creighton.

3. McIntosh has the keys on the Cats’ road to success. From the tip, McIntosh looked determined to lead NU to a win. The senior led the team both in his play and in his communication. During the 2016-17 campaign and so far this season, McIntosh has proven that when the Cats need a win or a bucket, he will lead the way, and Saturday was no exception. His exceptional outing from 3-point range helped end runs from La Salle’s strong second half.

Stats

– Northwestern: 57 % 3-point percentage
– La Salle guard B.J. Johnson: 22 points
– Bryant McIntosh: 5 for 6 from beyond-the-arc

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @markey2019

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