The Daily Northwestern

Men’s Basketball: Cats’ shooting struggles continue in Maryland loss

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Anthony Gaines attempts to finish a layup. The freshman guard had four points, all at the line, in the loss at Maryland.

Anthony Gaines attempts to finish a layup. The freshman guard had four points, all at the line, in the loss at Maryland.

Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

Anthony Gaines attempts to finish a layup. The freshman guard had four points, all at the line, in the loss at Maryland.

Ella Brockway, Reporter

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Men’s Basketball


Bryant McIntosh’s first shot attempt of Northwestern’s game at Maryland came with 10:22 left in the first half. The senior guard found an opening in the lane late in the shot clock, drove down the middle and put up a floater that missed the rim.

That first attempt foreshadowed how the rest of the afternoon would go for the Wildcats.

McIntosh was held scoreless for the first time in his career and NU (15-11, 6-7 Big Ten) continued to struggle from the field in Saturday afternoon’s 73-57 loss to the Terrapins (17-10, 6-8). The Cats shot only 33 percent, their fourth lowest percentage this season.

The offense felt the effects of McIntosh’s quiet day. The senior was held to a season-low one assist in the loss, and it was just the third time in his 125-game career that McIntosh finished with more turnovers, with three total, than points.

“Any time a good player struggles like that, I think you have to credit the defense,” coach Chris Collins said. “I thought they did a great job swarming in our pick-and-roll game. I thought for whatever reason he was a step slow with his energy today.”

Senior guard Scottie Lindsey led the team with 20 points, but only five of those 20 came in the second half.

The Cats, coming off of a 61-52 win over Michigan in which they held the Wolverines to a 25 percent second-half shooting percentage, faced a Maryland offense that hit eight of its first nine shots of the game and shot 53 percent from the field overall.

NU’s defense showed some promise in the second half, forcing the Terrapins to go 2-for-7 from 3-point range, but the Cats were unable to convert on the opposite end. Three of McIntosh’s five attempts came after the break, a season-low number of attempts for a player who averages 12.5 points per game.

“We just tried to double him basically,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said. “Our backside of our ball screen defense was terrific today, and that made the whole difference.”

Shooting has been an issue for NU this season. The Cats have the third-lowest scoring offense in the Big Ten, averaging 70.4 points per game, and the second-lowest field goal percentage in the conference at 43 percent.

Another offensive statistic that stands out comes from the free-throw line: NU has the best free-throw percentage in the Big Ten at 76 percent, but has only 462 free-throw attempts on the season, the second-lowest in the conference.

Collins said he hopes the Cats — and specifically, McIntosh — will be able to be capitalize on more offensive opportunities in their next few games.

“(Maryland’s) principles were really good against us and we could just never really free (McIntosh) up for clean looks,” Collins said. “Hopefully we get a chance to play these guys again and we’ll get to watch film and put him in a position to be more effective when they come to our place.”

Email: ellabrockway2021@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ellabrockway

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