Rapid Recap: Northwestern 85, Chicago State 54


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Redshirt senior guard Chase Audige looks to shake a defender in first-half action against Chicago State. Audige tallied 9 assists in the contest.

Jake Epstein, Reporter

Northwestern opened its regular season at home with a dominant, non-conference victory against Chicago State. 

The Wildcats (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten) got off to a slow start, however, missing their first two shots from the field. Following two scoreless minutes, junior guard Ty Berry opened the scoring with a corner three. 

The Cougars (0-1) also struggled to get the lid off the basket, failing to knock down a shot until Elijiah Weaver’s three-pointer with 13:11 remaining in the first half. 

NU shot a respectable 12-25 from the field in the first half, as compared to Chicago State’s 7-33 mark. Coach Chris Collins’ squad looked strong at the break, up 37-21 – in large part because of senior forward Robbie Beran’s 14 points and redshirt senior Chase Audige’s seven assists.

The Cats took the drivers’ seat entering the second half. Efficiency from the line, coupled with a barrage of threes, helped them pull away to a comfortable margin of victory in an 85-54 win.


  • Chase Audige is a legitimate distributor 

The redshirt senior, who played through a nagging hip injury last season, followed up a 15-point performance against Quincy with 13 points and 9 assists in Monday’s season opener. Audige played in both guard positions Monday night and excelled at finding open teammates for easy scores. 

While the former William & Mary standout lacked the efficiency he displayed from the field against Quincy, he converted when called upon at the line. The New York native made all seven of his free throw attempts during the contest.

  • Rebounding is a concern

The Cats’ first half rebounding was abysmal – even amid a strong offensive effort. NU was outrebounded 21-19 in the first half by a Cougars’ team that had no clear size advantage. 

This lack of tenacity was apparent  on the offensive glass. Chicago State hauled in 10 first half offensive rebounds, which far outnumbered the Cats’ three. 

NU rectified this situation in the second half, as Collins’ squad put an emphasis on limiting second chance opportunities. The Cats outrebounded the Cougars 48 to 36 by the end of the contest. But questions still must be raised of their efforts on the boards, especially given the much bigger teams they will face down the road.

  • The Cats took advantage of an undisciplined opponent 

NU seemed to live at the foul line in Monday’s contest, converting 27-32 free throws, good for 84.4 percent from the line. Chicago State committed 28 fouls, while the Cats committed just 10. 

The vast discrepancy in fouls allowed the Cats to extend a 16 point first half lead to a 31 point margin by the end of the contest. 

Collins may be pleased with his team’s success from the charity spot, but NU cannot expect so many trips to the line in future contests. 

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Twitter: @jakeepste1n

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