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Northwestern-Illinois press conference notes

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The Wildcats are stoked to be 1-0 in the Big Ten.

Will Ragatz

Northwestern started Big Ten play in dramatic fashion, pulling out a 72-68 overtime victory over Illinois. Scottie Lindsey, coming off the bench for the first time this season, led all scorers with 22 points. Here’s what Chris Collins and co. had to say after the game.

Chris Collins

On the game: “Very fortunate to be 1-0 in the conference...It was a really hard played game...They’re very hard to play against with their pressure defense...You can’t run your offense. You just have to make plays...Was really proud of those guys who finished the game tonight...Lot of guys did a lot of good things.”

On changing the starting lineup: “It was more about rewarding what I saw from the last seven minutes at Georgia Tech...less about punishing Gavin or Scottie...I’m not sure if we’ll stay with it...Scottie knows he’s still gonna play his minutes.”

On the importance of the game: “We viewed this game as a must-win. We have not been at our best. It’s no secret.”

On dealing with expectations: “Things can change in a heartbeat of the way you’re viewed...We’ve had to learn some hard lessons early in the season.”

On the early Big Ten games: “I’m a fan of it right now because we’re 1-0.”

On the team’s defensive improvement: “Practice and work. The Texas Tech game was a real eye-opener for our guys...We’ve gotten back to the basics in practice.”

On Isiah Brown’s performance: “I was really proud of him...What I love about him is he’s fearless...He’s a scorer. He can make things happen.”

Scottie Lindsey

On his performance: “I knew my team needed me to bounce back from last game...I knew I played a really bad game. That was just motivation to come out and play.”

On the team’s resilience: “We just had this attitude that we weren’t gonna lose this game. It was a must-win for us.”

Vic Law

On the team’s motivation for the game: “Illinois kicked our ass two times last year...We needed to win.”

On Pardon’s game-saving block: “I wish he got the block on Tadric Jackson, but I’m glad he got it tonight.”

On the early Big Ten games: “Who would’ve thought I would go from Purdue to Chicago State in a week?”

Brad Underwood

On the game: “I liked some of the things we did. I’m very pleased with the way we played defensively...Wasn’t thrilled with our late game stuff...I thought Te’Jon was tremendous throughout the night...Give Northwestern credit. They made plays...They looked like a veteran team down the stretch.”

On what went wrong tonight: “We’re not doing the little things. We went after the ball with one hand so many times today and that is so irritating...Those are the little things that win games that we didn’t do tonight...Any time my team has eight assists, that’s a problem.”

On Lindsey: “When you play as many minutes as he does...it’s about the grind. It’s about wearing him down...We wanted to make his touches hard...He’s a talented player...I’m pleased with the job we did on him.”

On the team’s self-inflicted mistakes: “We might’ve set the Guinness Book of World Records in travels tonight...Those are mistakes you can’t make. We have to get better at that...Leron Black is an all-league guy. He can’t have five turnovers.”

On Northwestern-Illinois rivalry: “I don’t know. How many empty seats were there tonight?”