Monday night's game ended a long 13-day layoff in between games. The Wildcats faced exams last week, and were not allowed to practice as a team.
"When have a 13-day layoff and you play well you say, 'Oh that layoff helped.' You don't play so well, you say, 'Oh the layoff killed you, exams," said NU head coach Bill Carmody. "I think we were somewhere in between."
Northwestern stumbled out of the gates, and Long Island jumped to a short-lived lead. But NU freshman guard JerShon Cobb reeled off six straight points, which set the tone for the rest of the game. After that, the John Shurna show began, and LIU had no way of stopping him.
"That kid gets better every year. I don't know how you defend him," said LIU head coach Jim Ferry.
Late in the game, things got a little tense for the Wildcats. Northwestern held a 24 point lead, and the ‘Cats were beginning to rest the starters, but Long Island would not back down. LIU struck a 15-1 run, and cut the Northwestern lead to ten, with just over a minute remaining in the game. But Northwestern was able to close the game out with clutch free throw shooting, and strong defense.
Northwestern takes to the court again on Thursday, when they face American University at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Wildcat head coach Bill Carmody plans to use his two practice days to clean up the mistakes from Monday's game.
"We've got American (on Thursday) and they have a very, very good big man and they're a very well-coached team," said Bill Carmody. "So the next two days we have to get something done. I guess there is some rust there. I don't like to think that, but we were a bit heavy-legged out there."