In their final tune-up before Big Ten play, Northwestern jumped out to a 20-0 lead on hapless Mount Saint Mary's and cruised from there. You can't learn much from a game against such a weak opponent, but I'll still make a few points:
- With 12 minutes to go and the 'Cats up by 30, John Shurna (who was still in the game for some reason) got his feet tangled with a Mountaineer player and went down hard with what appeared, at least initially, to be a serious left knee or ankle injury. He was in a lot of pain, and limped back to the locker room while putting no weight on his left leg, leading many fans to fear the worst. However, Shurna walked back to the NU bench under his own power a few minutes later, and was goofing around on the bench and seemingly in high spirits, so I expect he'll be ready to go against Purdue in 8 days. Still, that was a horrifying few minutes; the BTN.com student announcers (who did a very nice job) sounded near tears, and with good reason, I shudder to think what would happen to this team without Shurna in Big Ten play. As for Shurna's in-game performance, he had a season low 13 points, but did have 8 boards and 8 assists.
- NU had their first poor 3-point shooting game, at just 6 for 24. Alex Marcotullio hit just 1 of 8 and Drew Crawford was 0 for 5. Marcotullio did manage a career high 8 assists though, and has clearly earned the back-up point guard over Jeff Ryan, who has been invisible the past few games.
- Luka bounced back nicely from the St. John's debacle; he seemed determined to make a statement from the opening tip and finished with 15 points on 6-7 shooting to go along with 7 rebounds. Davide Curletti added 11 off the bench, but somehow failed to get a rebound in 17 minutes of play.
- While the last few minutes of scrub time were pretty ugly for the 'Cats, Mike Capocci was all over the court, with 5 points, 5 rebounds, and a blocked shot. Hopefully he can provide some sort of spark off the bench in conference play.
- The defensive stats look good, as the Mountaineers shot just 36% and turned it over 15 times, but that had more to do with their own incompetence than anything else. Carmody went exclusively with man-to-man and match-up zone.
That's it for now, have a Merry Christmas everyone.