On Thursday, the Wildcats dropped their first home game of the season, losing 70-66 to the Golden Gophers. The loss puts Northwestern at 1-2 in conference play as the team heads on the road for the next two games. Here’s how each individual played against Minnesota.
Bryant McIntosh - B
21 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 turnovers, 1 steal on 7/15 FG, 2/5 3FG, 5/5 FT in 31 minutes
It was a tale of two halves for McIntosh. In the first half, he dominated Minnesota, scoring 14 points, including a buzzer-beating layup. After halftime, McIntosh shot just 2-of-6 from the field. After the game, Chris Collins said McIntosh was cramping up during the second half, so that might explain his shortcomings. It was his best performance offensively since Wake Forest.
Vic Law - B
14 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 3 blocks on 4/12 FG, 2/5 3FG, 4/4 FT in 36 minutes
Law had a great start to the game, but disappeared in the second half, scoring just two points. His efforts on the glass and defensively were admirable, but he failed to come through as a scorer when Northwestern needed it most. Law’s uneven play over the past several games needs to stabilize in order for the team to win.
Scottie Lindsey - C+
10 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals on 4/12 FG, 0/5 3FG, 2/2 FT in 30 minutes
While his shooting from distance disappointed, Lindsey still had a decent game. He was one of the few players on the team who created shots, dropping four dimes in the first half. After the break, though, Lindsey, as well as the entire team, couldn’t get anything going.
Dererk Pardon - B+
9 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal on 4/6 FG, 1/2 FT in 32 minutes
Pardon looked solid in his return, nearly recording a double-double. He flubbed a few rebounds and passes, but after breaking his hand, it’s reasonable to assume he’s still getting his touch back. With the plethora of talented big men in the Big Ten, Pardon’s return is a good sign for the Wildcats.
Sanjay Lumpkin - F
0 points, 3 rebounds on 0/3 FG, 0/1 3FG in 22 minutes
Tonight wasn’t Lumpkin’s night, as he fouled out and failed to make any impact on the game. In the first half, Jordan Murphy dominated him down low, forcing Collins to switch the beefier Pardon on to him. Lumpkin had a great stretch during the team’s non-conference schedule, but Northwestern needs him to keep up that play in the Big Ten.
Nate Taphorn - B
5 points, 1 assist, 1 turnover on 2/3 FG, 1/1 3FG in 15 minutes
Taphorn was one of the few bench players to make an impact. His shooting opened things up offensively for the Wildcats, and he wasn’t torched defensively. With Lumpkin in foul trouble all night, Taphorn stepped in and played capably.
Gavin Skelly - D
4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 turnovers, 1 block on 2/9 FG, 0/6 3FG in 23 minutes
It was a rough night for Skelly, who couldn’t find the touch from deep. With Pardon back, Skelly spent the majority of his minutes playing power forward, where his playmaking isn’t as effective. If Collins is going to play Pardon over 30 minutes a game, he might have to consider reigning in Skelly’s playing time.
Jordan Ash - B-
3 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal on 1/3 FG, 1/3 3FG in 7 minutes
Ash brought energy off the bench, giving the team good minutes in the first half. He was also on the court when Minnesota came storming back in the second half, and his offensive limitations were on full display. Ash isn’t good enough to be a lead ball-handler, but that’s the position he was put in by Collins.
Isiah Brown - C
0 points, 0 assists, 2 turnovers on 0/0 FG in 2 minutes
The reason Ash played so much in this game is because Brown committed two turnovers during his short stint in the first half. The first was a telegraphed pass that got picked off, and the second was a pocket pass with a little too much heat on it for Pardon to handle. Collins probably should’ve given Brown a chance in the second half, as the Wildcats struggled to create shots offensively.
Barret Benson - C
0 points, 0 rebounds on 0/0 FG in 2 minutes
Benson didn’t do much in his limited minutes during the second half. The Gophers hit two threes during his time on the court, though, so the freshman was pulled quickly, even though neither was his fault. With Pardon back, Benson likely won’t play that many minutes going forward.