'Cats Fall Short In Madison

On senior night in Madison, Northwestern gave Wisconsin's home winning streak a scare, but fell, 78-63.

In the end, Wisconsin senior forward Jon Leuer stole the show. In his last game in the Kohl Center, Leuer finished with 26 points on 9-14 from the field. The Badgers finished with give scorers in double-figures.

Northwestern was led by Michael Thompson's 19 points, while Davide Curletti contributed a career-high 18 points off the bench. John Shurna finished with 14 points, while Drew Crawford had 12 points, but those four were the only Wildcats to finish with points.

In the first minutes of the game, it looked like Northwestern was having another nightmare game, much like their game with Penn State on Thursday night. The Badgers jumped to a quick 9-0 lead, with the Wildcats coming up empty on their first five possessions.

"In the start, it looked like when we got down big to Penn State. It didn't feel that way, because we were only down 9-0," said NU head coach Bill Carmody.

Northwestern was able to recover briefly and cut the deficit to six points, but Wisconsin maintained control for the rest of the first half.

Four minutes into the second half, Wisconsin opened up a 16-point lead, and looked poised to make it a blowout. Suddenly, Northwestern got a spark. Michael "Juice" Thompson drilled a three-pointer, which ignited a 20-7 Wildcat run, and cut the deficit to three.

However, that was short-lived. Led by Jon Leuer, Jordan Taylor, and Keaton Nankivil, Wisconsin was able to bury the Wildcats with a 20-8 run to close the game.

In the end, Wisconsin's talented offense was too much to handle. The Badgers shot 57.4% from the field, including 42.1% from beyond the arc.

Northwestern was able to hang around with their own hot shooting, but it simply wasn't enough to slow down the Badgers.

This has been a common theme for the Northwestern defense, who has surrendered more than 60 points in their last seven games.

"It seems like we're having a hard time stopping people, I don't know what else to say," said Carmody after the game.

One bright spot for the Wildcats was junior forward Davide Curletti, who finished with a new career-high of 18 points. Curletti came off the bench to replace Luka Mirkovic as Northwestern's primary center.

"Curletti certainly gave us a boost," Carmody said. "He can stay in front of those guys a little better than Luka."

But fittingly on senior night, Badger senior forward Jon Leuer went out in style, finishing with 26 points, and keeping the Badgers undefeated at the Kohl Center on the season.

The 6'10 forward created a tough matchup for the Wildcats, which Bill Carmody admitted, his team could not defend.

"we couldn't stop him all night. He got the ball, draws them right and turns it back over his left shoulder," Carmody said.

The Wildcats are now 16-12 on the season, and 6-11 in conference play. Their last regular season game comes on Wednesday night, when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Welsh-Ryan Arena. That tipoff is set for 7:30 CT.

Purple Wildcats Top Stories