Rapid Recap: Northwestern 75, Georgetown 63


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

Redshirt senior guard Chase Audige. The New York native led Northwestern with 17 points.

Charlotte Varnes, Sports Editor

In a battle of basement teams, Northwestern ruled the court. 

Competing in the Gavitt Tipoff Games for the first time since 2019, the Wildcats (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) took on Georgetown – a team well-known for its 21-game losing streak last season. NU jumped out to a seven-point lead early, but the Hoyas (2-1, 0-0 Big East) came roaring back. The Cats flipped the script in the second half, however, pushing to a lead that Georgetown would never regain. 

Here are three takeaways from NU’s 75-63 victory over the Hoyas. 

  • Cats struggle to contain Hoyas after dynamic start

Georgetown earned the game’s first possession, but it was NU that initially looked firmly in control. Redshirt senior guard Chase Audige nailed a three-pointer to open up the scoring, and junior guard Ty Berry swiftly chipped in with one of his own to make it 6-0. Their efforts soon powered NU to a 9-2 lead less than three minutes in.

But an early timeout by Hoyas’ coach Patrick Ewing proved a game-changer. Georgetown went on a 6-0 run following the break, evening the score at 9-9. The Cats quickly regained the lead – before the Hoyas took it from them. By the end of the first half, the lead had changed five times.

It wasn’t just Georgetown’s offensive outburst that made the first half more competitive. At times, NU looked out of its element on offense, practically handing the ball to the Hoyas and struggling to make the most of fast break opportunities. 

Foul trouble also proved detrimental, as Georgetown and the Cats racked up a combined 20 fouls during the first half. The Hoyas had the 35-33 lead at the break, but neither team looked close to perfect. 

  • Transfers power Hoyas

Georgetown junior guard Jay Heath only found out he could take the court against NU on Monday. A transfer from Arizona State, the NCAA only granted Heath’s transfer waivers early this week. 

He ended up playing a critical role for the Hoyas in the first half, posting nine points and two rebounds while going 4-for-6 from the field. His second half was a bit quieter, going 1-for-3 in the midst of a Cats’ offensive resurgence. A brief removal from the game after a fall didn’t help, either.

As Georgetown struggled to gain ground in the second half, sophomore guard Primo Spears took over where Heath left off. Spears, who tallied a game-high 22 points in the matchup, notched 14 of these in the second half.

Even amid Heath and Spears’ team-leading efforts, the duo failed to heat up at the right time. Nearing the end of the second half, the Hoyas went nearly three minutes without scoring toward the end of the second half while NU gained its largest lead of the game. 

  • NU’s usual suspects heat up at the right time

Senior guard Boo Buie has been a key cog for the Cats’ offense this season, recording double-digit points in the program’s wins over Northern Illinois and Chicago State. But Buie was scoreless through the first half against the Hoyas, missing wide-open shots and unable to get the key in the ignition. 

Audige also started off slow, recording just four points during the first half. A crew of younger, less experienced players took over amid Audige and Buie’s first half woes, as junior center Matt Nicholson tallied nine points – a career-high – and sophomore guard Brooks Barnhizer looked dynamic at times.

But it was Audige and Buie who took center stage in the game’s second half. Audige looked at ease on the court, tallying three three-pointers and going 5-for-12 from the field – including a powerful, nearly wide-open layup that put the Cats ahead.

Buie picked up steam as well, finally managing to score in the opening moments of the second half. The New York native got into the double-digits once more, recording 12 points and three assists. 

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Twitter: @charvarnes11

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