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Northwestern-Lewis rapid reaction: Wildcats ground Flyers 85-48

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The Wildcats extended their winning streak to four games.

NCAA Basketball: Lewis at Northwestern Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern (9-4) easily dispatched Lewis (4-8) 85-48 for their fourth straight victory. Bryant McIntosh led all scorers with 24 points, including a career-high six triples.

It was McIntosh’s highest scoring output since the team’s win over La Salle. Given his recent shooting struggles (28.8 percent from the field in his last five games), it was nice to see the senior be efficient and aggressive. He also chipped in with a game-high seven assists.

After a rocky start, the Wildcats took control of the game, leading by as many as 41 points. The Flyers struggled to score all game, shooting 31.3 percent from the field and committing 17 turnovers, which Northwestern turned into 34 points. It was the fourth game this season in which the Wildcats held their opponent to under 40 percent shooting.

Vic Law missed the game with an “upper body” injury. Law sustained the injury early in the second half of Saturday’s game against DePaul. Jordan Ash started in his place. Law’s absence wasn’t felt, as the Wildcats’ bench poured in 34 points, led by Gavin Skelly’s 15 points on a perfect 5-of-5 shooting performance.

Northwestern’s ball movement was great tonight. The Wildcats assisted on 21 of 27 made field goals, and seven of 11 players who played recorded an assist. That unselfishness was able to create open looks from the outside, where Northwestern shot 11-of-31 from deep.

Lastly, and most importantly, Charlie Hall and Tino Malnati both appeared in their fourth game of the season. While Malnati didn’t get on the board (he did get a steal though), Hall made one free throw and grabbed a rebound to boot. That’s the good stuff.

It wasn’t surprising to see Northwestern dominate tonight’s game. Lewis is a Division-II opponent and had played yesterday. Still, the Wildcats’ play on both ends of the floor was superb. As the team’s nonconference schedule nears its end, Northwestern seems primed to continue its strong play into the Big Ten season.

The Wildcats will hit the road to face the nation’s top scorer in freshman guard Trae Young and the No. 17 Oklahoma Sooners (9-1) on Friday.