Men’s Basketball: Northwestern’s two Ryans perfect from the field in 95-60 win over High Point


Jonah Elkowitz/The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern junior center Ryan Young works around a High Point defender in the paint. Young had 20 points on a perfect shooting night in NU’s 95-60 win over the Panthers.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

Men’s Basketball

It was a great day to be named Ryan on Friday night. 

Northwestern’s upperclassmen duo of redshirt junior center Ryan Young and senior guard Ryan Greer not only starred off the bench in the Wildcats’ 95-60 win against High Point, but they were perfect from the field. 

NU (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) found itself in a tight battle in the first half at Welsh-Ryan Arena, alternating buckets with the Panthers on consecutive possessions. When senior forward Pete Nance picked up two fouls early in the game, it was Young who picked up the slack in the frontcourt. In only 15 minutes of action, he finished the night with 20 points on a perfect 8-8 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line.

Young’s successful night resulted from exposing High Point’s lack of height and the Cats’ willingness to get him touches in the paint.

“We wanted to take advantage of our size and be able to put the ball inside,” Young said. “My teammates got me the ball in a position where I could work with it. And our shooting today was really great, so we were able to space the floor and I was able to go to work down low.”

The space that allowed Young and the Cats to total 48 points in the paint came from the efforts of the NU backcourt, including Greer.

After averaging just 13 minutes per game last year, Greer’s impact was needed on both sides of the ball in this match. He was one of the primary defenders on Panthers guard John-Michael Wright — a preseason first-team All-Big South member. Offensively, Greer tallied 15 points on 6-6 shooting, including 3-3 from 3-point range. He was a spark plug off the bench, providing critical minutes late in the first half that allowed the Cats to take a lead into the break.

“Ryan Greer hit some big shots late in the first half,” coach Chris Collins said. “He had two (three-pointers) and eight points to kind of get us going and then the second half our big guys, Pete (Nance) and Ryan Young, were just magnificent.”

NU was looking to attack the mismatch on the interior throughout the game, but the Cats’ early struggles from distance, after missing their first seven 3-pointers, put more pressure on the offense. Eventually, the lid on the basket opened up, with Greer and junior guard Boo Buie connecting from distance before the first-half whistle.

With NU threatening from 3-point range, Young and Nance were provided the opportunity to work down low in the second half. After Nance scored a quick 13 points to extend the Cats’ lead, it was Young’s turn for his own scoring barrage.

The 6-foot-10-inch center scored 10 consecutive points for NU in just over two minutes and 30 seconds. He added one final lay-up for good measure to bring his second-half tally to 12 points before his night came to a close. 

Young and Greer’s performances off the bench illustrate the depth and talent of this year’s squad, according to Collins.

“I feel like Ryan Young and Ryan Greer could start the game for us,” Collins said. “I just told all of them to be ready. So, yes, (Young’s) a starter in my opinion, and it’s just kind of a game-by-game thing with matchups. I just want all these guys to have a starter’s mentality.”

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Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

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