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Northwestern-DePaul recap: Player grades from the Wildcats' overtime win

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Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty by any means, but Northwestern picked up a big overtime win over DePaul to move to 10-1 on the season. The Wildcat offense looked out of rhythm throughout most of the game, taking uncharacteristic shots early in possessions and missing short on the majority of their threes. Despite having the size advantage, Northwestern lost the rebounding battle by three in the first half, including seven offensive rebounds. After falling down by as much as seven, Chris Collins switched to the 2-3 zone with nine minutes remaining, a move that proved effective in limiting DePaul's presence on the offensive glass. Today's comeback win showed resilience, something not often found in such a young team. The entire team stepped up in crucial moments for Northwestern as they were able to avoid the much maligned "bad loss".

Overall: B

Here's how Northwestern's individual players grade out in the win:

Bryant McIntosh

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
13 8 5 4-15 45

Grade: A-

It was a slow start for McIntosh in the first half as he missed his first few shots and got torched by the electric Aaron Simpson for an and-one and a three. Although his scoring was down in the first, McIntosh excelled on the fast break, finding both Lumpkin and Olah on pretty passes resulting in easy layups.

In the second half, McIntosh picked it up a gear. His behind the back crossover to get to the post and set up Lumpkin with easy layup gave Northwestern a 58-57 lead. McIntosh further showcased his vision with an alley-oop pass to Olah in overtime; the entire stadium thought he was shooting a three. What the stats don't show is just how in control McIntosh played. He finished the game with eight assists to zero turnovers in an astounding 45 minutes. That says it all.

Tre Demps

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
18 4 7 7-20 43

Grade: B+

Very similarly to McIntosh, Demps started cold but would heat up. He played aggressively in the second half, scoring Northwestern's first six points of the half. He was almost too aggressive at times, taking shots very early in the shot clock. That's his game though, and Demps' fearless take in overtime gave Northwestern a three point lead that the Wildcats would not relinquish. The 18 points were huge, but his seven rebounds might be just as important. Northwestern was struggling giving up offensive rebounds and Demps made a big contribution on the defensive glass. It's worth mentioning that Demps had zero turnovers as well.

Aaron Falzon

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
6 0 5 2-8 21

Grade: B-

Following the trend, Falzon started cold from the field as well, finishing regulation 0-6 from the field with all six shots coming from three. With Northwestern down 65-63, Falzon, with his feet barely set, knocked down a huge three. He would hit another just three minutes later, a dagger that extended the lead to 8. Falzon showed a lot of maturity and growth in this game, forgetting the first 40 minutes and hitting two of the biggest shots of the game.

Sanjay Lumpkin

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
14 1 7 5-7 35

Grade: B+

Lumpkin actually started the game hot, scoring the first seven points for the Wildcats. Like always, he worked hard in the paint, drawing a charge in the first half. He was much more quiet offensively in the second half, but played sound defense and rebounded well. Lumpkin's work on the offensive glass drew a foul that led him to tie the game from the line with 46 seconds remaining. Today's season high in points and activity on both ends of the floor gives Lumpkin his grade.

Alex Olah

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
14 2 7 5-10 33

Grade: B

This was an interesting performance from Olah. He didn't have the success that he usually has down low, picking up just seven rebounds and going 5-10 from the field. He missed some wide open jumpers, and he let the 6-foot-6 Myke Henry and the 5-foot-11 (but probably 5-foot-8) Simpson both pick up 8 rebounds. Obviously they weren't all his fault, but Olah needs to be more of a presence, especially rebounding defensively.

What Olah did do was play exceptional defense despite picking up his fourth foul with 13 minutes remaining. His two blocks both came at crucial times, and he did a great job of going straight up and absorbing contact. He was not involved very much on offense and drew a lot of attention from DePaul when he got the ball, but Olah made his presence known when it mattered most defensively.

Nate Taphorn

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
3 0 2 1-3 14

Grade: C-

A tough game for Taphorn, as he never really got in a rhythm. His two three-point attempts were well short of their mark, but Taphorn showed his unappreciated athleticism with a huge offensive rebound that he put back up for an and-one.

Scottie Lindsey

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
5 1 4 2-6 17

Grade: C

Lindsey hit a timely three when DePaul had taken a five point lead in the first half, and he had an acrobatic finish on the fast break. That was all of his offense in this game though. He struggled in the second, as he was late to close out on a Henry three, and he had a pretty ambitious layup attempt early in a possession. It wasn't Lindsey's best game of the year, but he contributed offensively and chipped in four defensive rebounds despite being in foul trouble.

Gavin Skelly

Points Assists Rebounds Field Goals Minutes
5 0 4 1-1 17

Grade: B

Thrust into more meaningful minutes because of the absence of Joey Van Zegeren and Olah's foul trouble, Skelly played very efficiently. He had trouble defending the quicker Henry and the bigger Tommy Hamilton, but Skelly held his own. He was active offensively, finishing through contact on a layup and drawing fouls near the rim.