Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coble Steals Pass, Wildcat Win 77-75

The Wildcats are now 11-7 overall, 3-5 in the Big Ten

With 5.2 seconds on the clock Wednesday night every Northwestern fan feared the Wildcats would fail to hold another double digit lead, but Kevin Coble swooped into the passing lane and denied Indiana a final shot. Coble scored 19 points and during the game’s final four minutes put together a highlight film of shots which rivaled his game at Michigan State. I find it hard to believe there is a more natural scorer than Coble anywhere in the Big Ten. The only criticism which can be levied at Coble is he shot only 5-of-8 from the free throw line. Coble wasn’t the only Wildcat who struggled from the charity strip. As a team Northwestern shot 13-of-20 from the line. This is an area to target for improvement if the Wildcats want to battle for a postseason birth in any of the myriad of tournaments which are suddenly appearing.

Perhaps the key factor in tonight’s game was Jeremy Nash, Nash has been a key factor on defense this season, but tonight he excelled on offense. Nash converted both his three point attempts and totaled 10 points, including a nice one handed slam. He also had three steals as did Moore and Coble.

Northwestern was again outrebounded, this time 30-19, but forcing 22 turnovers and converting 12-of-23 threes was enough to counter the Hoosier dominance on the boards. Craig Moore was the ‘Cats leading three point shooter (5-of-9), but he got great support from Juice Thompson (3-of-5), Coble (2-of-5), and Nash (2-of-2). I’ve heard rumors that Nash is one the team’s best shooters in practice, today that seemed to transfer into the game. If Jeremy shoots somewhere in the neighborhood of 35% from three, he might become one of the Big Ten’s best players.

Aside from the already mentioned issues at the free throw line, the Wildcats also need to reduce turnovers against Wisconsin. The 19 turnovers forced by the Hoosiers will be far too many to beat the Badgers. The man who handles the ball the most, Juice Thompson, will be one of the keys, he had 7 TO’s tonight. Coble’s 4 and Ivan Peljusic’s 3 were also far too many.

Northwestern’s next game is Saturday against Wisconsin. The Badgers come having lost five straight and will be hungry for a win. The Wildcats will look to once again hold their home court, and jump the Badgers in the standings. It will be a seriously intense game. Hopefully, Luka Mirkovic, who missed tonight’s game with a sprained ankle, will be back.


John said...

I'm not too worried about the high number of turnovers. It seemed like a lot came from charges that were very close calls. (They went both ways, no matter what the Indiana fans say.) I am still worried about the rebounding...

Oh, and I got a picture of the dunk! It's on Chicago College Basketball and my regular site. (I was that excited for one.)

Ryan said...

That dunk picture is awesome. I believe that's dunk number two this year for Nash, and I expect we will see a few more.