In the only game of the night, Northwestern improved to 11-1 after defeating the Sacred Heart Pioneers by 36 points. The Wildcats opened up a 16 point lead at the break and poured it on in the second half, out scoring the Pioneers 55-35.
Of course Sacred Heart isn't exactly a strong opponent for the Wildcats, now sitting at 1-9 this season, but Northwestern didn't exactly schedule a difficult non-conference set of games this season. Leading the way for the Pioneers was Cane Broome, a volume shooting guard that was averaging just under 19 points a game heading into tonight. Broome actually had a good shooting night, hitting 9 of his 20 field goals, including 5 of 11 from three, and led the team with 26 points. Unfortunately for Sacred Heart, no one else reached double digits as the team managed to only hit on 40% of their field goals.
In an interesting narrative for tonight, one of the starting forwards for Sacred Heart is Tevin Falzon, who is actually the older brother of Northwestern freshman Aaron Falzon. The brothers each scored 9 points, with Tevin also adding five rebounds and four assists.
I mentioned in the preview that Alex Olah has silently been one of the better centers in the league and he had his way tonight down low, scoring 21 points on 8 of 10 shooting from the field. Bryant McIntosh, who has been a major scorer for the Wildcats, distributed the ball impressively tonight on his way to 10 assists, while Tre Demps added 17 points. Getting in on the action tonight were Nathan Taphorn, Scottie Lindsey and Jordan Ash, with all three players reaching double digits off the bench.
Alex Olahujust scored the 1000th point of his @NUMensBball career! https://t.co/6PZ8VseQPQ— Northwestern on BTN (@NUOnBTN) December 22, 2015
The Wildcats coasted to victory on a night that could have served the perfect scenario for a letdown game as most players are likely getting ready for the holidays. Northwestern showed no signs of looking past their opponent, though, and shot absolutely lights out. Northwestern has become known for their dreadful offense, so seeing the team shooting 61% from the field, including 51.7% from deep on 29 attempts, was definitely a sight to see.
Northwestern's schedule has been lacking so far and their next game up will do little to change that as they'll host Loyola (MD) on Sunday. Even their conference opener is a bit underwhelming, as they'll face a struggling Nebraska team. While their record needs to be taken with a grain of salt (think Penn State last year), there is still a solid possibility the Wildcats could be 13-1 when they host Maryland on the first Saturday of January in what would be a prime opportunity to show that the Wildcats are the real deal.
Jordan Ash throws down a monster one-handed dunk late in the @NUMensBball game against Sacred Heart. https://t.co/jd8doQOKRh— Northwestern on BTN (@NUOnBTN) December 22, 2015
Either way, Chris Collins seems to be building a Northwestern team that can actually score the ball and that can only mean good things for the Wildcats heading into the future.