Wolfpack of N.C. State demolish the Northwestern Wildcats 74-49 at the 19,722-person capacity Entertainment and Sports Arena. "> Wolfpack of N.C. State demolish the Northwestern Wildcats 74-49 at the 19,722-person capacity Entertainment and Sports Arena. ">

'Cats blown out in ACC-Big Ten Challenge

There was a severe winter storm warning Wednesday night in Raleigh, NC. Residents were advised to stay inside and not to travel. As a result, fewer than 4,000 fans were on hand to witness the <b><font color="#CC0000">Wolfpack of N.C. State</font></b> demolish the <b><font color="#330033">Northwestern Wildcats</font></b> 74-49 at the 19,722-person capacity Entertainment and Sports Arena.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the game was part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and had a national television audience on ESPN2.

The Wolfpack rushed out to an early 16-5 lead in the first five-minutes of the game on five-of-five shooting from beyond the three-point arc.

Northwestern was able to creep within three-points, 21-24, with six-minutes to go in the first-half after the Wildcats knocked down five of their first six three-point attempts.
The ‘Cats would get no closer, though, as N.C. State extended its full-court press and Northwestern continually committed turnovers. Northwestern was down 14 at the half and by as much as 33 in the second half before eventually submitting to a demoralizing 25-point loss.  The loss drops Northwestern's record to 3-2 on the season.

Turnovers, turnovers, turnovers
After only turning the ball over six times in their road victory against Kansas State on Saturday night, the Wildcats turned the ball over 20 times against N.C. State.  Although they had reportedly prepared for N.C. State's full-court press, the Wildcats were unable to handle it.  After the game, Northwestern Head Coach Bill Carmody said, "Who's gonna win a game when you have 20 turnovers?"
Veteran leadership?
Despite the youth prevalent on the Northwestern squad, it was the veteran players who looked the least experienced.  Veteran senior forward Jason Burke was utterly useless in his starting role and 23 minutes on the court.  He failed to score a single point for the second time in three games and turned the ball over a team-high six times.  Jason, meanwhile, contributed but a single rebound and a single assist to the Wildcats' cause.  Junior guard Jitim Young failed to score or gain a rebound while committing three turnovers in his 22 minutes of play.  It was the first time that Jitim was shut out in 64 games as a Wildcat.  Senior forward Winston Blake [NU Photo-right] was equally ineffective in his return from a sprained right ankle.  Winston, too, failed to score in his 19 minutes on the court.
Let's hear it for the freshmen
In the midst of the 19 Northwestern turnovers, freshman starting point-guard TJ Parker committed only one turnover. TJ played another solid game, scoring ten points and adding two assists.  Freshman Jimmy Maley [NU Photo-Left], in his second collegiate start, also performed impressively.  Jimmy scored 14 points on five-of-six shooting from the floor and four-of-five shooting from beyond the arc.  Jimmy added a team-high three assists.

Freshman guard Evan Seacat [NU Photo-right] added six points without a turnover on two-of-three shooting from deep three-point territory in his nine-minutes on the court.  Finally, freshman Mohamed Hachad played 12-minutes, his most time on the court in a game as a Wildcat.  Mohamed scored two points and came up with a steal, but also turned the ball over twice.

Holding his ground
Coming into the 2002-03 season, Wildcat fans were concerned about the uneven play of senior center Aaron Jennings.  After adding considerable muscle mass during the off-season and while playing through painful shin splints, Aaron has thus far proven to be one of the bright spots for Northwestern.  Wednesday night, Aaron led Northwestern in scoring with 17 points and on the boards with a career-high 9 rebounds.  Aaron also blocked three shots and shot a perfect six-of-six from the free-throw line.

While "AJ"'s defense has been lax at times, he has outperformed pre-season expectations to a much greater extent than any other Wildcat veteran to this point in the young season.

Carmody likes the kids
Many of Coach Carmody's post-game comments were centered on the ineffective play of his veteran players and the promise shown by his freshmen.  Carmody specifically commented that TJ Parker and Jimmy Maley were poised, while the veterans were not, Wednesday night.  Carmody hinted that his freshmen might see more playing time in the near future.  In addition to Parker and Maley, he spoke of freshmen guard Evan Seacat: "Is Evan going to be any worse on defense than some of the older guys?  Is he going to struggle any more with the press than the older guys?  Maybe…but he knocks down shots."  Carmody hinted that freshman combo-guard Mohamed Hachad [NU Photo-Left] might also see additional playing time. Carmody stated that, despite the fact that he had obvious difficulty with the press, Mohamed "gets his hands on balls" and that it might do him well to get used to teams pressing sooner than later.
Well, at least they made free-throws
In an evening of mostly negatives, Northwestern did connect on eight-of-eight free-throw attempts.  Aaron Jennings led the way canning six-of-six from the line.
Injury Report
  • Sophomore forward Vedran Vukusic is out with an injury to his right shoulder and will most likely take a medical redshirt this season.
  • Freshman center <

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