The Northwestern Wildcats dropped their second straight game on Saturday night, this time at the hands of Texas Tech.
The Red Raiders got out to a big league to start the game and went wire to wire to keep the Wildcats out of striking distance.
Here is what we learned from Northwestern’s tough loss.
What We Learned
1. Bryant McIntosh Needs To Bring it Every Night
As a senior point guard and one of the best players on the team, McIntosh’s role is to lead and perform at a high level. It’s safe to say that McIntosh didn’t do that on Saturday night, and it was displayed in the outcome.
McIntosh had 5 points and 3 assists and shot 1-of-8 from the field in 32 minutes of play. 3 of his points came from the free throw line and taking care of the ball was an issue for him as he had 5 turnovers.
With limited depth in the backcourt, McIntosh has to play an absurd amount of minutes and must make up for the lack of guard depth with his play. Yes, he has weapons like Vic Law and Scottie Lindsey around him, but McIntosh needs to do a little bit of everything for his team to function.
2. Defensive Struggles Continue
After giving up 92 points against Creighton earlier in the week, Texas Tech put up 85 on Northwestern. The Red Raiders shot 60% from the field and 52% from behind the arc. This Texas Tech team is one of the better offensive groups is program history, but there’s no reason why the Wildcats should be giving up this many points.
Northwestern did force 16 turnovers, but it they weren’t able to make the most of their opponents mistakes.
The Wildcats can’t seem to put together a string of stops to gain some momentum. A team that doesn’t have much athletic specimens, Northwestern needs to go back to the drawing board and find a way to become a better defensive unit before conference play begins.
3. Who’s going to step up?
Scottie Lindsey was the only Northwestern player who played reasonably well.
The senior guard had 20 points and was 5-of-14 from the field in 33 minutes. Vic Law, one of the Wildcats’ other main scorers, had 4 points and shot 1-of-6 from the field.
As a team, Northwestern shot 26.7% from the field and 26% from the 3-point line, percentages that won’t get the job done. Lindsey was the only Wildcat player to score in double digits, which is not ideal because they already lack scorers.
When Law, Lindsey, or McIntosh have a bad night, there needs to be someone on this team who can set the tone and provide a scoring boost. A team can’t depend on three and only three guys to put the ball in the bucket, so there needs to be more guys who can put up points when called upon.
Texas Tech is a good team, but no one expected they’d beat Northwestern by 36 points.
Many expected this year’s Wildcats team would be able to build on last season’s historic run, but it only seems to be going in the opposite direction at this point.
Northwestern needs to find a way to learn from this game and not let something like this happen again if they want to return to the Big Dance.