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Rapid reaction: Northwestern 69, North Florida 67

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The Wildcats just barely edged North Florida behind 16 points from Bryant McIntosh and a game-winning jumper by Tre Demps.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The story remained the same for Northwestern in game three of the non-conference slate. The Wildcats narrowly defeated North Florida in a rather ugly affair at Welsh-Ryan Arena. It took some clutch shooting and a big comeback in the final minutes, but once again, Northwestern pulled out the victory. Here are some quick notes from the 69-67 win:

-The Wildcats got off to a hot start. Bryant McIntosh and Vic Law had their way penetrating North Florida's odd 2-3 zone, which created a lot of open looks. A couple of lay-ups from Sanjay Lumpkin and three-pointers from McIntosh and Law pushed NU's lead to 16-9 just five minutes in.

-The remainder of the first half was not pretty. North Florida left their zone for man-to-man, and the ball movement halted. The 'Cats settled for a lot of contested looks, and after starting the game 6-8 from the field, Northwestern went 5-13 to conclude the half.

-It was back-and-forth throughout the second half. North Florida pushed their lead to 61-54 with just under four minutes remaining, and that's when it finally kicked in for Northwestern. Eight points from Bryant McIntosh in the span of 68 seconds brought the game to a tie with 1:47 on the clock.

-The game was still tied when NU got the ball with 34 seconds left. Tre Demps ran down the clock and hit a step-back jumper from just inside the arch to take the lead. North Florida got the ball with only two seconds left, had to inbound from the far baseline, and their long three-point attempt didn't quite beat the buzzer.

-Northwestern's defense was only decent throughout the game. They gave up quite a few easy shots, helping the Ospreys make 51 percent from the field. At times the 'Cats were caught not boxing out too. They gave up six offensive rebounds. Yet, they nabbed 11 offensive boards of their own.

-Alex Olah barely touched the ball in the game's first ten minutes. When he finally did get some possessions on the block, Olah was usually double teamed immediately. He almost always spun right and forced up a hook shot. Olah finished with just two points on 1-6 shooting and struggled on the defensive end in the second half.

-Chris Davenport beat Olah off the dribble consistently in the game's final 20 minutes. Davenport paced the Ospreys with 17 points on 7-8 shooting. Dallas Moore chipped in 18 points as well and shot 3-6 from downtown.

-Sanjay Lumpkin had another oustanding offensive performance. He was efficient, making five of seven shots, and finished with 13 points and six rebounds. However, twice in the second half, foul trouble sent him to the bench.

-Like the Houston Baptist game, we didn't see a lot from the veterans. JerShon Cobb only took 6 shots and finished with 5 points. Tre Demps took some time to get going but made several key shots down the stretch, including the game-winner. Demps totaled 15 points on 7-15 shooting, another streaky night for the junior.

-The man of the night was Bryant McIntosh. On his birthday, the freshman point guard played 34 minutes and scored 16 points. He made all four of his three-point attempts and knocked down 6-10 from the field. McIntosh also dished out four assists and single-handedly brought NU back into the game in the final two minutes.

-The Wildcats continue to struggle with lesser competition and show some weaknesses. The offense didn't flow well, even when McIntosh was on the floor. The 'Cats had to take 23 threes and make 10 of them to get the victory. NU's defense allowed the Ospreys to make over half of their shots. North Florida's forwards were able to stretch the floor and drive against Olah. There's plenty of room for improvement, and the soft non-conference schedule is making more and more sense for the development of this team.