Men’s Basketball: Rapid Recap: Northwestern 63, Northern Illinois 46


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

Robbie Beran finishes up a monstrous dunk. Beran led the team with 15 points, carrying NU to a double digit victory.

Aayushya Agarwal, Reporter

Northwestern continued its victorious home stand, fending off Northern Illinois 63-46 on Friday. 

But the Wildcats (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten), initially started off slow offensively. Throughout the early stages of the first half, NU struggled, shooting just 13-for-31 from the field and 3-for-12 from deep. Nevertheless, the Wildcats’ scoring constituted 9 second chance points and 13 points off turnovers, leading to a 36-27 lead at halftime. 

Senior forward Robbie Beran opened up the scoring with a floater at the top of the key. Beran had a strong showing against the Huskies (0-2), scoring 15 points, with 5 rebounds and 2 assists. By halftime, the Virginia native had 13 of NU’s 36 points. 

Another dynamic addition to Friday’s game was sophomore guard Julian Roper II. The Detroit, Michigan native made his season debut on Friday, playing a limited number of minutes but managing three points. 

Defensive guard play initially an issue for the Cats

NU had a tough time defending NIU guard Keshawn Williams. The Chicago Heights, Illinois native was a catalyst for the Huskies all game, and could not be stopped. 

The Cats built multiple double digit leads over the course of the first and second halves. Yet, Williams remained their Achilles heel. Williams weaved past NU defenders, taking advantage of isolation plays, and kept the scoreboard ticking for the Huskies. 

Over the course of the second half, the Wildcats slowed Williams down, limiting him to only four points for the rest of the game. 

Robbie Beran has the ability to fill in the front-court void

The Cats have been searching for strong front court play, especially after the departures of Pete Nance and Ryan Young. Beran led the charge Friday night, racking up 13 points and 3 rebounds by halftime. 

On the glass, Beran limited the number of rebound opportunities for NIU. The Huskies only had one offensive rebound in the first half, allowing the Wildcats to limit the number of extra possessions given up. 

Beran seemed to be in the right place at the right time throughout most of the game. The senior forward picked up loose balls that led to key shots made down the stretch in the first half. On the defensive end, he held NIU forward Anthony Crump to 2 points at halftime. 

Ty Berry was everywhere 

Junior guard Ty Berry asserted his presence on both sides of the court. The Newton, Kansas native had 6 points and 6 rebounds by halftime, and opened the second-half with a corner three. 

On the defensive end, Berry had 2 steals in the first half, leading to key fast break opportunities. Throughout the game, Berry gave NU key momentum bursts, including timely corner threes in transition. 

Throughout the course of the second half, Berry led the playmaking on the offensive end. A fast break assist led to a junior center Matthew Nicholson dunk, propelled the Cats to its first double digit lead of the second half. By the ten-minute mark of the second half, Berry had a double double, with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

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