Northwestern won their 4th home game in a row, and the score may look like it was an easy game.
But check the stats; yes the Cats shot 57% from the floor, 40% from the arc and 69% from the line, and they led the game in rebounds 38-31, but they gave up 19 turnovers, 12 of them to RMU steals!.
The Colonials scored 17 points off turnovers. Add 33 points [11 of 25] from 3 point land by RMU and you can see why Bill Carmody wasn't happy.
One other bright spot, NU had 7 steals, and 38 rebounds, but overall play in the second half was just sloppy and Walk-on Guard Mike Jenkins wound up playing 20 minutes, scoring 3 points, 3 assists, a steal and rebound. More from the coach on him later.
Junior Forward Vedran Vukusic led in scoring with 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his first double double of the year. His back to back 3 pointers late in the 2nd half took the game out of reach for RMU. Center Mike Thompson chipped in 16 points, 2 blocks, 3 assists, but had only 2 rebounds.
Mohamed Hachad had an up and down game - he scored 9, and had 4 boards, 2 blocks, 4 assists and 3 steals, but also had 4 turnovers. Davor Duvancic played 25 minutes - scored 6, blocked a shot, made a steal, had 5 rebounds and 3 assists, but again 3 turnovers. Tim Doyle started the game on fire, grabbing 6 rebounds and scoring his 5 points in the first few minutes, but then he disappeared, finishing with 8 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 4 turnovers.
Robert Morris was led in scoring by Guard Derek Coleman who hit 5 of 8 from the arc and one free throw to finish with 16. Overall the Colonials shot 11 of 25 from 3 point land.
NU Coach Bill Carmody again wasn't happy after a game where the Cats were up by over 20 in the first half but saw the score swing towards the opponents at the start of the 2nd half.BC: Well the last 4 minutes of the first half I thought it was turning a little bit, I didn't like what I saw in that last 4 minutes and - its almost like the more you tell them this is happening at halftime, they just came out and they were just very lackadaisical - we turned the ball - how many turnovers we have? [19 turnovers - 11 in the second half was Dave's answer]Was it partly the Big Lead in the first half? [The Cats were up 42-14 with 1:54 left]
Last year we averaged 9 turnovers a game in the season, we get 19 so, that's 19 shots you don't get - just carelessness.
Our offense, we still don't have anything that's fluid out there. You know, what can you do, to tell you the truth.BC: We're Juniors, you know, we've got a lot of Juniors out there and they've played a lot of basketball. It shouldn't happen.With Christmas coming up and a game on Monday and another game on Friday, do you give the team a day off?
If you had freshmen, and they were feeling cocky or something like that but the lackadaisical attitude [from] the older guys is just not good.
There's no cohesion out there.BC: No, there's things need a lot of work.Do you feel Mike Thompson is getting more comfortable in there and the team is getting more comfortable with him?
We have to go to work, there's so much to do. [laughs from the crowd]BC: Well, it doesn't look it. Its just not fluid, its just standing around, throw it in, see what Mike can do, and so, we have to streamline things a little bit, you know, better than we have - I don't know, if it wasn't for 11 [Vedran Vukusic] tonight, I don't know what we'd do.Michael Jenkins wound up playing when T.J. got in foul trouble - is he going to play more?
You know I told him the beginning of the year he's got to get 15 shots a game, take Jitim's place, but I'm going to jack that up to about 20.BC: I have to be blind because I see it in practice. I've seen him practice, he plays well, he keeps his body in front of the guy, he stripped the ball in the last 30 seconds - little guys do that, but we've got little guys who don't do that - he does it.Well congratulations on the win.
He's another ball handler, he'll run your offense, he's got a high basketball IQ so, I don't know, if I've ignored him because he's small or a walk-on, or... but I've stopped ignoring him.BC: [to the Crowd] Merry Christmas - Happy Holidays.And that's the story on Christmas Eve Eve Eve - The Cats win it, but even uglier than last week, and you can expect to hear roundballs bouncing on Saturday, Christmas Day.
Next up is a pretty tough Delaware State Hornet team, they play in the MEAC and they tend to be up and down too. Should be a good test of the Wildcats practice regimen.
the WGN Post Game Show
with Dave Eanet & Shon Morris
and may have been edited for clarity
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