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Northwestern 83, Columbia 80 (OT): Press conference notes

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Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

EVANSTON -- Northwestern (3-0) needed a big night from guards Bryant McIntosh and Tre Demps to earn a come-from-behind overtime win over Columbia (1-2). McIntosh had a career-high 32 points and Demps chipped in 22 to keep Northwestern hanging around. The Wildcats have the weekend off before taking on No. 1 North Carolina in Kansas City on Monday night in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

Here's what head coach Chris Collins, Bryant McIntosh, Gavin Skelly and Tre Demps had to say about the victory:

Chris Collins

- In his opening statement, Collins praised Columbia, telling the media: "I think you guys were privy to a really good game tonight... Those were two really good offensive teams... I'm still trying to figure out how we won that game...analytically, the numbers will probably [point to us losing]."

- Collins called Bryant McIntosh's career-best performance "heroic."

- On Gavin Skelly: "He didn't get a chance to play against Fairfield. I told him that he needed to be ready when his number is called... I'm really proud... His singular enthusiasm changed the whole game."

- Collins said he's starting to figure out who his team is: "We're a little bit of a jump-shooting team."

- Defensively, Collins said he alternated between man-to-man and a 2-3 zone because Columbia was getting into a rhythm against both styles.

- On not getting centers Alex Olah and Joey van Zegeren involved much in the first half: "Columbia was doing a really good job of denying bigs... but we're not taking advantage of it when they got open."

- Collins said that Columbia wasn't "defending us well in pick-and-roll at all... so we just went with it."

- On playing North Carolina: "It's going to be pretty challenging. From first-hand experience, I know... They're one of the best. They have been forever. We have to really get our legs back... They're the best in the country at transition basketball... They're unbelievable on the glass... It's going to be a great opportunity. There's no pressure on us... I'm excited about it and i know the guys are too... But I haven't thought about North Carolina one bit." Says he may later after having some "good, clean, American fun," borrowing the phrase from Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald.

- On Scottie Lindsey only playing seven minutes the entire game and sitting throughout the second half and overtime: "I stuck with Gavin based on lineup... It was nothing disciplinary... We're going to need Scottie."

- On what his attitude was going into halftime: "I was disappointed because we were getting our butts kicked... Every time we tried to make a run on them, they kept pushing it out."

- On defensive strategy up three points with 9.9 seconds left in overtime: "We were switching everything... The plan was to foul the moment the guy put the ball on the floor." But the players didn't.

- On Columbia's back-cuts getting easy baskets: "We prepared for it...but they got us a few times on those out of timeouts."

Bryant McIntosh

- On mentality: "Their guards were in foul trouble so Tre and I were trying to attack the basket... We did a good job spacing the floor so they couldn't help from the corners."

- On what he saw in the pick and roll: "Their big wasn't playing very high so I was able to get downhill."

- On playing North Carolina: "It's a great challenge. Obviously, they're No. 1 in the country... It'll give us great preparation for playing in the league... It'll just be a great test for us. I don't want to make it more than it is, though."

- McIntosh turned 21 today. His plans? "Dinner with my girlfriend and bed. I'm tired."

Gavin Skelly

- On mindset after not playing against Fairfield or in the first half against Columbia: "Coach said it was a tough matchup...and to keep your head in there and always be ready... The assistants said that I was going to be a big player in the second half."

- On the biggest thing he saw while watching the first half: "A lack of energy. I think they played harder than us all night... I'm an energy-giver... That's what i was recruited for."

- He says his ankle is fine after landing on Columbia's Alex Rosenberg's foot as time expired in overtime.

Tre Demps

- On his slow start to the first two games: "If you look at my career ever since I was little, I've always struggled at the beginning of seasons... My teammates, coach Collins are always in my ear."

- He said he was fine physically after playing all 45 minutes.

- On McIntosh: "He's playing on a whole other level right now... Him playing this well is going to open up things for everyone. But at the end of the day, everything starts with him."