Men’s Basketball: Boo Buie lights it up, fuels 24-point Northwestern win over Nebraska


Alyce Brown/The Daily Northwestern

Junior guard Boo Buie dribbles the ball. Buie had a season high 27 points in Northwestern’s 87-63 win over Nebraska on Saturday.

Alex Cervantes, Reporter

There is an adage in basketball attributed to former NBA guard Dion Waiters, inspired by the late Kobe Bryant: “I’d rather go 0-for-30 than 0-for-9, because (if) you go 0-for-9, that means you stopped shooting.”

This sentiment has underlined some of the questionable shot selection apparent in Northwestern games this season. The Wildcats (11-10, 4-8 Big Ten), occasionally a victim of their own late-game decision making in close losses, had no qualms letting it fly from distance in Lincoln, Neb. on Saturday — and this time, they lit the scoreboard up in an 87-63 win.

Led by junior guard Boo Buie, NU was superb offensively en route to a 24-point win over Nebraska. 

“Our guys just made really good decisions and we made shots,” coach Chris Collins said. “It’s easy to say when the ball goes in the basket, it always looks a lot better.”

The ball didn’t just go in the basket, as Collins said; it fell through the nylon nets at an efficient rate — and it started with Buie. The Albany, New York native notched a season high 27 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field and 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. 

As a team, the Cats could seemingly do no wrong offensively. NU shot at an efficient clip throughout the game, recording totals of 48.5% and 41.9% shooting from the field and 3-point range respectively.

Aided by early buckets from sophomore guard Ty Berry and senior guard Ryan Greer, plus an 18-3 run from the 14:36 mark to the 11:08 mark in the first half, the Cats held a lengthy cushion they never let go of. 

“We had the 20-point lead there and it was just really important that we never let them get a run,” Collins said. “We talked about taking the game in four-minute increments coming out of halftime … and we never let them get that 8-0 run, that 10-0 run to get back in the game.” 

As dominant as NU was on the offensive side of the court, their defense was stout as well. Nebraska freshman star Bryce McGowens, who entered the matchup with four consecutive 20-plus-point outings, was quiet. He had 10 points on 2-for-8 shooting in a great defensive stand from redshirt junior guard Chase Audige.

Audige — who tallied 16 points that day — and Buie were the two most prolific scorers for the Cats. Buie enjoyed a little nine-point spurt to help NU extend its advantage at the intermission to 49-27.

“Boo (Buie) was tremendous,” Collins said. “We were able to get him some clean looks early to get going from three, and then he was able to get downhill and drive the ball really well in the second half.”

The Cats spread the wealth offensively in its most complete game of the season. Redshirt junior center Ryan Young contributed 12 points, with senior forward Pete Nance scoring eight in a relatively quiet night to standard. Berry and Greer totaled nine and seven points, all in the first half, respectively.

Ultimately, NU has tallied two consecutive wins and will look to make it three in a row when Indiana ventures to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Tuesday.

“(It was a) really good win for us,” Collins said. “And to come on the road, especially to get a road win, was really good. I’m really proud of my team today.”

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Twitter: @CervantesPAlex 

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