I think one major takeaway I from tonight's game is that IUPUI gave a great effort at Welsh-Ryan Arena this evening. Drew Crawford said NU coach Chris Collins challenged his team at halftime because he felt IUPUI was out working the Wildcats and honestly they may have out worked them in the second half as well, but thankfully some creative defensive game planning by Collins and a late runner by JerShon Cobb kept NU in the game and gave the 'Cats an important W.
Drew Crawford led a balanced NU attack with 12 points all of which came in the second half. I'm not sure Crawford is yet aggressive enough in his role as NU's go-to scorer as he tends to disappear at times. He should never take less shots than guys like Dave Sobolewski and Sanjay Lumpkin. If I wanted to be positive I'd say he'll learn that soon but time is running out on him learning that. The only way NU upsets UCLA and Mizzou would be huge day from Crawford and those games are less than a week away.
Sanjay Lumpkin was once again really good on the glass and actually got some inside scoring help from Alex Olah. It's been stated by Collins that Olah is the key to NU's success and scary as that might be for fans to hear it is probably true. Everything works better for NU when Olah is a presence inside both on offense and defense. The other key to NU's success is Dave Sobolewski. He didn't make shots tonight like he did vs UIC on Wednesday but he ended up as NU's second leading scorer and sank some key free throws. If he can make 40% of his three point shots (which I know would be double what he did tonight) I think he and NU have a pretty good year. Is that realistic? I don't know but I'm going to pay close attention to Sobolewski on Monday.