Orange Crushed

It was just one of those nights where nothing went right for Northwestern (9-4, 0-3). The Fighting Illini shot a school record 70.5% from the field, and routed the Wildcats, 88-63.

"There was not much competition there tonight," said Northwestern head coach Bill Carmody.

Illinois started the game by draining a couple three-pointers, and didn't look back. Just eight minutes into the game, the Illini had an 18-point lead. Northwestern had no match for the Illini defensively.

The Illini were lead by six scorers in double-figures, led by point guard Demetri McCamey's 14 points. Illinois senior center Mike Tisdale also finished with 13 points.

After the game, Carmody agreed the key to Tisdale's success, and the rest of the Illini offense, is point guard Demetri McCamey.

"He's got McCamey, he's a really good player." said Carmody of Tisdale. "He gets the ball to the right guys at the right time."

Northwestern featured two scorers in double-figures, led by freshman JerShon Cobb, who finished with a career-high 18 points. Juice Thompson also finished with 15 points.

But the Wildcats were held to 34.3% from the field, and shot an astounding 9-38 from beyond the perimeter.

A big part of the ‘Cats struggles was from an injured John Shurna. Shurna battled through the pain for the third-straight game, but finished with just seven points, and was held out for most of the second half. The Wildcat offense was, again, completely contained, much in part to the injured Wildcat forward.

"They didn't shoot the ball like they have in the past," said Illinois head coach Bruce Weber. "You could tell Shurna wasn't 100%."

The lone positive for the Wildcat came from JerShon Cobb. The freshman guard continues to improve. Cobb finished shooting 8-19 from the field.

However, yet another negative for the ‘Cats was the lack of production from junior forward Drew Crawford. Crawford finished with two points, shooting 1-8 from the field, and 0-6 from three-point territory. Crawford followed up a 17-point performance with one of the worst performances of his career.

Northwestern's once-promising season has hit a major road block with the Wildcats off to an 0-3 start in conference. The ‘Cats return to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday to take on the Indiana Hoosier. If Northwestern still hopes to reach their first-ever NCAA tournament, a win on Sunday is pivotal.

The key for Carmody's ‘Cats is energy, which he admitted was lacking tonight.

"We got a game in three days, and that's good, but we didn't have any energy tonight," said Carmody.

Tipoff is set for 6:00 CT on Sunday. A win for Northwestern would bring great hope to a potential NCAA tournament bid. A loss would be yet another bad blow to a struggling team.


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