The Daily Northwestern

Rapid Recap: Northwestern 83, Minnesota 60

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Dererk Pardon throws down a dunk. The junior center and the Wildcats dominated Minnesota on Wednesday.

Dererk Pardon throws down a dunk. The junior center and the Wildcats dominated Minnesota on Wednesday.

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Noah Frick-Alofs/Daily Senior Staffer

Dererk Pardon throws down a dunk. The junior center and the Wildcats dominated Minnesota on Wednesday.

Joseph Wilkinson, Sports Editor

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Men’s Basketball


Northwestern cruised to its first easy conference victory of the season Wednesday, taking down a depleted Minnesota squad 83-60 at Allstate Arena.

The Wildcats’ (11-7, 2-3 Big Ten) offensive effort was once-again piloted by senior guard Bryant McIntosh, who dropped a school record 16 assists and added 11 points while operating as the point guard for the majority of the game. Fellow senior guard Scottie Lindsey led all scorers with 22 points. Junior center Dererk Pardon joined on the action, too, putting up 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Minnesota’s offense, on the other hand, clearly missed regular starters Amir Coffey, who is out indefinitely with a shoulder injury, and Reggie Lynch, suspended indefinitely because he is the subject of a sexual assault investigation. The Golden Gophers (13-5, 2-3) are now 0-2 with with Coffey and Lynch out.

Takeaways

1. Three is worth more than two. Simple math doesn’t really count as a takeaway, but NU was on fire from behind the arc Wednesday night. After they opened 1-for-6 from deep, the Cats made five of their next eight shots from 3-point range and finished shooting 46 percent beyond the arc on the night. Coming into the game, NU was shooting 36 percent from long range and taking almost 40 percent of its shots from distance. Against Minnesota, 24 of the Cats’ 56 shots came from deep.

2. Northwestern might stick with a zone defense. The Wildcats broke out a hybrid 2-3/3-2 zone for much of the game against the Golden Gophers. Whether rolling with a three-guard lineup or with a larger frontcourt featuring sophomore forward Aaron Falzon, senior forward Gavin Skelly and Pardon, the hosts ran the zone and dared the Golden Gophers to either design a crisp zone offense with middling players or hit deep 3-pointers. The visitors failed on both counts, and given the success of the defense, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see NU continue to use it in upcoming games.

3. This is not a season-changing win. Before the season, a win over Minnesota might have been seen as a feather in the cap in the Cats’ push for a bid in the NCAA Tournament. This is not the same Minnesota team. The Golden Gophers had already disappointed somewhat to open the season, and then lost of two of their four best players. Yes, it’s better to win games than to lose them, but it’s best to hold off on the “Northwestern is back” takes. A win Sunday at Indiana would likewise offer little boost to the Cats’ resume.

Email: josephwilkinson2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @joe_f_wilkinson

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