Friday, December 2, 2011

Wildcats Follow Ideal Script vs Mississippi Valley State

This game couldn’t have gone better for Northwestern. Not only did the Wildcats post an easy victory, they managed to rest all the key players with former walk-on Reggie Hearn being the only starter to play more than 20 minutes and they still scored 92 points thanks to some production from the bench. Perhaps the only depressing result to this game is that John Shurna only scored 9 points which will lower his scoring average, but he hit three of four three pointers on the way to helping the ‘Cats make a total of 20 three point field goals.

Four of those 20 three point field goals came from Nick Fruendt who saw his first extended action of the year. Fruendt has the ability to make shots and actually led NU with 21 points tonight. Obviously the feeling in the Wildcat coaching staff is that his defense isn’t up to par for most games, but his ability to hit shots makes me wonder if he can still find a role before the end of the year.

Freshman point guard Tre Demps also saw a lot of action tonight and scored eight points. He also dished out four assists and when combined with Dave Sobolewski the Wildcats two freshman guards combined for 8 assists and 1 turnover. NU did a great job with handling the ball tonight. The starters combined with 14 assists and only four turnovers. Overall, I know that this wasn’t a great opponent, but I thought NU’s effort was solid.

The guy who always puts in great effort, Reggie Hearn, led NU with seven rebounds and continued to show a nice shooting touch with three of five three pointers. He finished with 15 points and played his usual solid defense.

I also think it’s important to note that Luka Mirkovic played his second consecutive solid game. He went 5-of-5 from the field dished out three assists. Hopefully his confidence is high going into Sunday. Another guy who should have good confidence going into Sunday is Drew Crawford. Crawford looked great shooting ball today making 4-of-5 three pointers and scoring 14 points. He also grabbed 5 rebounds and had two steals.

Bottom line, this game was the game it was supposed to be. Now, Northwestern gets ready to play #7 Baylor on Sunday. The Wildcats will go into that game unbeaten and with a chance to make a huge statement to both the Big Ten and the entire college basketball world.

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