21 December 2009

Recap: Northwestern 70 Stanford 62


NU was evidently the better team on the court, but that didn't stop Stanford's Jeremy Green from putting a real scare into the Wildcat faithful in the game's waning moments. Green, who had been held in check for most of the afternoon, knocked down three straight buckets including a bomb at the 1:46 mark to cut what was once a comfortable 10 point NU lead into a 1 point nail biter. At that point Coach Carmody called a timeout, acknowledged the elephant in the room that was last year's epic home collapses against Purdue and Illinois, and reminded the team that this was a different year with different players.

Juice Thompson is one player who remains from last year, but he is oh so different now that he has stepped into the void left by Craig Moore and Kevin Coble. When it mattered most and with thoughts of last year's debacle on the minds of players and fans alike Juice Thompson stepped up and showed why he is the team's MVP. Three ball.... swish. That dagger ripped a gaping hole in Stanford's sail from which The Tree could not recover. NU's collective 7-8 effort down the stretch from the charity stripe sealed the deal.

John Shurna was NU's steadiest performer throughout the game as he gradually built his stats into a 22 & 8 tally. Drew Crawford continued to shed the freshman nerves he exhibited in his first few games and gives NU fans a real basis for thinking above and beyond just making the NCAAs in future years. Luka Mirkovic had a decent game going 9 & 6 with 5 assists and a three pointer that showed his performance against UNF was no fluke.

This was a game that was far from perfect. NU shot a subpar 6-25 from distance and really struggled from the charity stripe until the last minute of the game. In particular Marcotullio and Nash really struggled with their shooting. However both guards made amends with their defensive presence which helped NU survive its off-night on offense. Overall NU turned over the stingy Stanford ballers 18 times which was well above their season average of 11.

In the end Carmody Court breathed a big sigh of relief as NU hung on to win a game that might have slipped from its grasp in years past. All's well that ends well!

Here are some other recaps from the interwebs...

Chicago College Basketball
Bleacher Report
Welsh-Ryan Ramblings
Official Athletic Website
Skip Myselenski

Sippin' on Purple
Lake The Posts

^^^^NU Bears Highlight Video!!^^^^