A few good individual performances were ruined by a late collapse in Northwestern's 72-63 loss at Michigan on Wednesday night. At times, Northwestern seemed to be playing its best offense in a while. At other times, it seemed to be playing its best defense in a while. But everything came crashing down late, as Michigan closed the game on a 20-7 run (excluding Tre Demps' late garbage time layup) and sent the Wildcats packing with another defeat.
Here's how Northwestern's players graded out individually:
This felt like the first game in a while in which McIntosh played without a metaphorical burden on his shoulders. He quarterbacked the offense well early on. His stats were pedestrian, but that's because for 35 minutes, they didn't have to be anything more than pedestrian.
However, then they needed to be just that:more than pedestrian. Northwestern needed McIntosh to make two or three plays late on. He only made one. His shooting was off kilter. Perhaps he's worn down, but at the moment, McIntosh isn't the player that many thought he was becoming after the Wisconsin game.
A performance more or less microcosmic of who Demps is as his Northwestern career winds down. He made his fair share of shots down the stretch, but was under 50 percent from the field and from three, and his defense, along with Northwestern's as a whole, faded in the second half as Michigan's guards got more acclimated to playing against the man-to-man defense Northwestern employed.
Falzon's effectiveness has ebbed in Big Ten play, but he was outstanding Wednesday. He made things happen on the boards, his off-ball movement was impressive, and his shooting was one of the reason's Northwestern's offense looked so good. The Wildcats were plus-4 with Falzon on the floor.
Lumpkin was active as always. But 0 shots and 5 personal fouls — including a really bad one on a three-pointer near the end of a shot clock — tell you just about all you need to know. Lumpkin is a decent defender, but is there any argument for having him on the floor ahead of Gavin Skelly right now?
Olah was the story of the game — or at least so we thought. Then the story of Olah's night became one of two halves. Northwestern's big man scored 14 points in the game's first 16 minutes. In the second half, the shots continued to fly — even the threes, of which Olah shot 6 and made 1 — but ceased to fall. And while Olah's first half defense was good, he struggled in help when Michigan's guards began to get to the rim with regularity.
Not a good night for Pardon. He was the first big off the bench, but failed to corral a rebound or two, disrupted Northwestern's offensive spacing, and picked up a silly offensive foul on a moving screen. He was pulled with around 13 minutes remaining after two quick fouls, and didn't see the floor the rest of the game.
Lindsey looked comfortable and aggressive on offense early on, but his defense was shoddy and his play tailed off. He finished with the worst plus/minus on the team, minus-16 in just 13 minutes.
Skelly did a bit of what he always does. He hurled himself at a loose ball over by the Michigan bench to preserve a possession for Northwestern. But crucially, he also showcased his constantly expanding skillset. A couple excellently-timed cuts resulted in buckets, and Skelly even stepped out and, in rhythm, stepped into and splashed his only three-pointer of the game. The only blemishes were two missed free throws and a few defensive possessions that left something to be desired.
Ash's plus/minus was a minus-9. In four minutes. Not good.
Joey van Zegeren
Only saw the floor when Olah needed a rest and Collins had seen enough of Pardon for the night.