Rapid Recap: Nebraska 70, Northwestern 55


Colin Boyle / Daily Senior Staffer

Isiah Brown drives to the hoop. The sophomore guard had only 2 points in the loss to Nebraska.

Cole Paxton, Managing Editor

Men’s Basketball

ROSEMONT — In a weather quirk, the temperature outside Allstate Arena warmed as the evening went on, from the frigid 3 degrees recorded at gametime. Northwestern’s offense did not.

The Wildcats offered an uninspiring offensive performance Tuesday and paid for it, falling 70-55 at home to Nebraska (11-5, 2-1 Big Ten) in their return to Big Ten play.

NU (10-6, 1-2) shot 29 percent from the field and, playing without senior point guard Bryant McIntosh, had multiple scoring droughts of several minutes. Junior center Dererk Pardon led the Cats with 17 points and 15 rebounds but got little help; Glynn Watson, Jr., had 19 points for the Cornhuskers to lead all scorers, and James Palmer, Jr., added 18 more.

Nebraska was far from a well-oiled machine offensively, tallying seven turnovers to just eight made field goals in the first half. But the Cornhuskers managed to find their rhythm in the second half, finishing with respectable 44-percent shooting.

NU led for most of the first half and took a 30-25 advantage to the break, but Nebraska closed to within 1 in the opening minutes of the second period and took the lead with 11:30 to play. The Cornhuskers never again trailed, and momentum shifted firmly in their favor after Anton Gill completed a 4-point play to put Nebraska up 47-42. The visitors then methodically added to their advantage in the final minutes


1. Northwestern’s offense sorely missed McIntosh. The Cats looked disjointed at times without their floor general, settling at times for 3-pointers that missed wildly, including an open Lindsey attempt that hit the bottom of the backboard. NU even struggled to hit its layups and never found a reliable offensive weapon it could turn to. Lindsey was 4-of-14 from the field and junior forward Vic Law was even less effective, hitting just 2-of-11 attempts.

2. Nebraska figured out how to limit Pardon. Pardon had dominated two of his previous three appearances against the Cornhuskers — both NU wins — but it took him 18 shots to get his 17 points in Tuesday’s game. The Cats’ offense ran through Pardon throughout the game, but he continually failed to finish around the rim. Pardon was dominant on the glass, but Nebraska continued to deny him around the rim, on putbacks and post-ups alike.

3. The Wildcats’ NCAA Tournament hopes seem nearly extinguished. NU entered January firmly on the outside of the tournament conversation after an underwhelming nonconference slate, which reached its nadir in an 104-78 loss to Oklahoma on Dec. 22. A weak Big Ten meant the Cats would need a superb conference mark to return to the bubble, and Tuesday’s ugly loss to a Nebraska team sitting in the middle of the Big Ten makes that proposition tenuous at best.

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