There were a lot of reasons why we thought Northwestern basketball would look different in 2014-15, especially on the offensive end. All of those reasons disappeared during the Wildcats' low-scoring win over Miami (Ohio).
It was ugly, to say the least, but Northwestern was able to pull out a 55-46 victory over the RedHawks. Here are some takeaways:
- Northwestern got off to a rough start in the first half as the Wildcats didn't have a lead until Vic Law hit a free throw to go up 19-18 with 9:15 left in the half. Alex Olah, especially, looked lost on both ends. There were multiple lazy passes, a concerning lack of aggression and a few miscommunications on defense. But the Wildcats' defense picked up and gave Northwestern a six-point lead at the half.
- To open the second half, Northwestern went into Olah early and the big man delivered. He finally took advantage of a huge edge in size. He collected a block, rebound and four points within the first two minutes of the second half. He finished with 13 points and eight rebounds, along with four blocks.
- By far the most concerning part of the contest was a horrible Northwestern scoring drought that lasted for 10 minutes in the second half of the game. It was really ugly basketball during that time with plenty of turnovers and missed shots.
- The Wildcats responded strongly once Miami (Ohio) tied the game at 40. Northwestern went on a 9-0 run keyed by Olah and Law. Law was solid on both ends of the floor as he scored 13 points on four-of-six shooting. He also added eight boards and two blocks.
- Northwestern committed 16 turnovers during the game, a concerning number. Moving forward, Northwestern has eliminate wasted possessions as better teams will be able to take advantage of those opportunities.
- Northern Iowa, Northwestern's opponent in the championship, looked good, especially in the second half. The two teams play on CBS Sports Net on Wednesday at 8:30 pm.