Men’s Basketball: Now in a starring role, Law helps Northwestern open season with a win


Alison Albelda/Daily Senior Staffer

Vic Law lays the ball in. The senior forward showed that he’ll play an important role all season in Thursday’s win.

Charlie Goldsmith, Sports Social Media Editor

Men’s Basketball

Vic Law scored the 1000th point of his career on a made three in the first half, and, on Northwestern’s first possession after a New Orleans timeout, the senior forward canned another shot from beyond the arc.

After playing a team-high 32 minutes and taking 12 shots in the season opener, it was clear his role is not strictly the team’s defensive stopper — he’s developed into a more well-rounded two-way player the team will be relying on all season.

In his new role, Law contributed 18 points and went 3-6 from three in NU’s (1-0) season-opening 82-52 win over the Privateers (1-1).

“Whatever you guys try and call me, I’m just going to try to do my best on the floor,” he said. “I remember last year we played (Loyola Maryland) and we only won by one. So I’m happy that this year we handled business and played really well.”

Eight minutes into the second half, the Cats only had a seven-point lead and were struggling getting anything going in transition. Then, Collins gave Law the responsibilities of the point guard, having the senior bring up the ball and defend Lamont Berzat, New Orleans’ dynamic floor general.

Law led the group on a 27-9 run before being subbed out with two minutes remaining by pushing the ball up the floor and taking New Orleans’ best shot creator out of the action. Law finished the half with six points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal, and Collins said his energy helped get the team out of the rut it was in.

With senior center Dererk Pardon struggling to get touches in the first half as a result of the Privateers’ zone defense, Collins adjusted the offense to run the ball through Law, senior guard Ryan Taylor and junior forward A.J. Turner, who finished with 20 and 11 points respectively. According to Law, Taylor’s offball cutting “(makes) it easy” for him to finish a game with five assists, and Collins was satisfied with how the team responded to New Orleans’ pressure.

“It’s great to play a team like this that got after us,” Collins said. “(They) got in passing lanes and tried to pressure us a little bit. Although at times it looked maybe disjointed, we only had nine turnovers.”

While Collins started the same lineup he did in last week’s exhibition, Turner and sophomore guard Anthony Gaines were on the floor instead of freshman forward Miller Kopp and junior guard Jordan Ash when the Cats made their run in the beginning of the half.

After struggling offensively in the first half, that group helped lead NU to score 18 points in the paint and force 15 turnovers in the second half.

During the offseason, Law had surgery to increase his lung capacity so he wouldn’t get winded in the second halves of games and so he could keep his performance more consistent. After playing 17 consecutive minutes to put the game away, Law said he was feeling healthy and optimistic about what that could mean for the season.

“I think I look good, I play more aggressively and I don’t get tired as easily,” Law said. “(Now) we just present different things that teams have to be very attentive on game-planning on. Moving forward, I’m very happy with what I saw.”

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Twitter: @2021_charlie