Northwestern (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) overcame an off shooting day to win at Ohio State for the first time since 1977. The Wildcats have now won four in a row.
Scottie Lindsey: A-
21 points (7 of 14 FG, 3 of 9 3FG), 2 rebounds, 1 turnover, 1 steal in 35 minutes
Lindsey was slow out the gates but picked it up, even though his three-point shooting never truly got going. While he did manage to knock down a few looks, including a huge three off the bounce, he did most of his damage in transition or in with midrange shots. He also hit a crucial pull-up jumper with a man in his face near the end of the shot clock. To cap it off, Lindsey didn’t turn the ball over.
Dererk Pardon: C-
2 points (1 of 7 FG), 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 turnovers, 2 blocks in 32 minutes
Pardon struggled mightily from the field, missing in the post and a handful of good looks in the midrange. The Ohio native was solid and opportunistic on the glass — half of his eight boards were on the offensive end — and he recorded two fantastic blocks. Still, he was very much a liability offensively, and he posted the lowest offensive rating (68) of any Northwestern player.
Vic Law: B-
10 points (4 of 13 FG, 0 of 3 3FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 steal in 31 minutes
Law struggled with his jump shot but was fantastic on the defensive end, as per usual. The long-armed forward showed his versatility, guarding several different positions. Law had one really nice bucket in transition as well as a nice step-back jumper, but other than that, he was mostly off the mark.
Bryant McIntosh: B
19 points (4 of 12 FG, 2 of 7 3FG), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers, 1 steal in 30 minutes
McIntosh didn’t shoot it particularly well from the field, and he had trouble probing the lane against Ohio State’s length and athleticism, but down the stretch he was cold-blooded, knocking down a ton of crucial free throws. McIntosh’s slump may not be over, but his ability to put teams away at the line — Northwestern very much needed it against an Ohio State team that wouldn’t go away — is very important.
Sanjay Lumpkin: B+
8 points (2 of 4 FG, 1 of 3 3FG), 11 rebounds, 2 assists in 29 minutes.
This was a game seemingly made for Sanjay Lumpkin: not pretty, lots of fouls and lots of toughness required. The fifth-year senior knocked down an open three and led the team with 11 rebounds. It was a quintessential game from Northwestern’s most unassuming player. As an added plus, he committed no turnovers and hit both ends of a clutch one-and-one down near the end of the game.
Gavin Skelly: C
7 points (2 of 6 FG, 1 of 1 3FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 turnover, 1 block in 17 minutes
Skelly had a lot of trouble with Trevor Thompson down low on both ends. Thompson has four inches and 30 pounds on Skelly, and Chris Collins went to Barret Benson (who had seen no meaningful minutes recently) in order to counteract that. Skelly drilled a three and also stuck another jumper, but he missed a couple of good looks from 15 feet and couldn’t get anything going around the basket. He had two offensive rebounds, though, which helped create key extra possessions.
Isiah Brown: B
7 points (3 of 7 FG, 0 of 1 3FG), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block, 1 steal in 16 minutes
Seeing his longest stretch of time as the primary guard, Brown did a solid job in the first half running the offense while McIntosh sat with two fouls (they split the first half with 10 minutes apiece). Brown had a beautiful drive and scoop high off the glass just above Thompson’s reach. In the second half, he created and got a crucial bucket through contact near the end of the shot clock and followed that up with a steal and score. Collins is clearly confident enough to play his freshman as either the primary ballhandler or a secondary one next to McIntosh, and Brown continues to improve and show he is deserving of that trust.
Barret Benson: B-
2 points (1 of 1 FG), 1 steal in 5 minutes
Northwestern’s biggest player saw five first-half minutes and performed solidly. He knocked down a midrange jumper and recorded a steal, but he picked up two fouls in that handful of minutes, too. Still, there was not noticeable drop-off with him in the game.
Nate Taphorn: INC
0 points (0 of 0 FG), 1 rebound in 5 minutes
The Buckeyes kept close tabs on Northwestern’s best three-point shooter, limiting his impact entirely.