Men’s basketball: Northwestern throttled by Indiana


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Scottie Lindsey looks for a teammate. The senior guard went 1-for-15 from the field in Sunday’s 20-point loss to Indiana.

Joseph Wilkinson, Sports Editor

Men’s Basketball

Last year, Northwestern suffered a heartbreaking loss at the buzzer in Bloomington. This year’s defeat wasn’t quite as close.

The Wildcats (11-8, 2-4 Big Ten) came out flatter than two-month-old soda and stayed that way for the entirety of the 66-46 beatdown against Indiana (11-7, 4-2).

“I’m disappointed,” coach Chris Collins said. “Just because a lot of guys are back doesn’t mean it’s the same team. Every team is new. You’ve got to re-establish roles. You’ve got to re-establish the way you play, your toughness, your grit. I take responsibility because it’s my job to be able to do that.”

In the first half, NU’s struggles were limited to the offensive end, where the Cats shot 24 percent from the field and committed 11 turnovers.

While the Hoosiers, — playing most of the half without their leading scorer Juwan Morgan — also put up a bunch of bricks, they still managed to lead 24-19 at the half.

“I didn’t see that coming from us offensively,” Collins said. “Our defense gave us a chance in the first half … and then we could just never get in any rhythm.”

The second half, however, was bad on both ends for NU. The putrid offensive showing continued, and the Cats finished with their fewest points since their 76-45 loss to Michigan State two seasons ago.

And then things fell apart defensively. The Hoosiers put up 42 points in the second half and shot 60 percent from the field in the period, including 4-for-10 from deep. Morgan went 4-for-4 from the field to score 8 points.

“Our defense could only hold on for so long,” Collins said. “After a certain point, when you’re that inept offensively and you can’t score, it just grinds out the other facets of your game. And I think that’s what happened.”

Indiana guard Robert Johnson led all scorers with 17 points. Eleven of Johnson’s 12 field goal attempts, and all five of his makes, came from long range — and he alone was responsible for one third of all made 3-pointers in the game.

With nine points each, junior forward Vic Law and sophomore guard Isiah Brown led NU in scoring. Law combined with senior guards Scottie Lindsey and Bryant McIntosh to shoot 7-for-34 from the field. The trio tallied a total of 18 points.

For McIntosh, the game capped off a disappointing career in Assembly Hall. The Hoosier State native finished 0-3 in the building with NU, and his final performance was limited by an ankle injury which led to him playing only 24 minutes, his third-fewest total of the season.

“They were physical and took him out of his rhythm,” Collins said. “I know he’s disappointed. He loves Indiana. He loves the state. He’s proud to be from here. Obviously it means a lot when you get to play in Assembly Hall when you’re from this area.”

After Sunday’s blowout loss, the Cats are left to do some soul-searching. NU came into the year ranked in the top 25 in the country, but now sits in the bottom half of the Big Ten with little chance of returning to the NCAA Tournament.

For one of the most disappointing teams in college basketball, there’s a long way to go back to respectability.

“We’ve been up-and-down all year,” Collins said. “We’d look at good times and then kind of fall flat like we did today. It is frustrating.”

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