Northwestern was just never able to get it going against Central Michigan on Wednesday night, as the Wildcats fell to the Chippewas 80-67. NU shot just 41.9 percent from the floor and weren't able to stop CMU's versatile freshman big man Luke Meyer, who had a season-high 18 points. Central Michigan shot 58.3 percent.
The Wildcats played most of the game from behind and eventually cut the lead to just three points with just under 15 minutes to go in the second half. But Central Michigan went on a 13-4 run over the next five or so minutes to put an end to Northwestern's run and notch another victory for Michigan directional schools over the Big Ten.
What I liked:
To be honest, there wasn't much. I thought Tre Demps made good decisions offensively. He did a nice job getting into the lane and kicking the ball out to open shooters, as shown by his seven assists. With that being said, he did shoot a miserable 4-17 from the field. Dave Sobolewski probably played the best out of any Northwestern player, and that's really saying something. The senior point guard finished with 10 points and no turnovers in 16 minutes of play.
What I didn't like:
There's so much to put here to go along with the brutal shooting percentage. Northwestern fouled too much. There was no flow or rhythm offensively. The defense collapsed on itself leaving Central Michigan shooters open all over the floor. The Chippewas dominated in pretty much every facet of the game.
There has been a concerning trend in Northwestern's ability to defend inside-out bigs like Luke Meyer. First off, Alex Olah isn't quick enough to effectively guard a capable player out on the perimeter. And when an opposing big man pulls Olah out from the lane, Northwestern loses its only rim-protecting presence. The same thing happened against Northern Iowa. Chris Collins and his staff have to come up with a way to defend bigs who can also play from the outside.
Northwestern, now sitting at an underwhelming 6-4, will look to get back on track Saturday against Western Michigan.