Northwestern counterpunches to outlast Chicago State, 68-64

Northwestern concluded its five game home stand on Wednesday with a nail-biting 68-64 victory over Chicago State.

Both teams came out the gate very slow offensively. Chicago State’s first 12 points were all from beyond the arc, and as they cooled off the Wildcats took advantage going into the locker room with a 29-21 lead at the half. The best part? Zero turnovers.

What transpired in the second half was a game of runs. The Wildcats were leading 44-32 with a little under 13 minutes remaining when the Cougars sparked an 11-2 run.

With the help of sophomore guards Fred Sims Jr. and Anthony Eaves, Chicago State chipped away at the Wildcats’ lead. A Trayvon Palmer dunk gave the Cougars a 52-50 lead with 8:06 remaining.

As the game went down to the wire, the Wildcats eventually prevailed, due to a big time 3-pointer by junior guard Bryant McIntosh and a layup that sealed the deal with under a minute remaining by senior Sanjay Lumpkin, who started his 100th career game.

“Every bit of momentum we had, they came right back at us,” said Northwestern coach Chris Collins. “Every time we threw a punch they threw a counterpunch.”

The Wildcats finished the game shooting 43% from the field and assisting on 20 of their 26 made field goals. The Cats also held a +10 advantage on points in the paint but were out-rebounded by the Cougars 40-33.

Sophomore forward Vic Law led Northwestern with 18 points while junior guard Scottie Lindsey had 13 points. McIntosh pitched in with 14 points and 7 assists.

The Cougars were led by Sims, who scored 16 second half points to reach a game-high 22, including some huge 3-point shots down the stretch. Chicago State shot an impressive 50% (13-of-26) from deep.

Palmer also had a monster performance scoring 18 points and corralling 11 rebounds for the lone double-double of the game. The 6’6″ senior has recorded double-doubles in three straight games now.

Following the game Coach Dildy was asked what impressed him the most about this Wildcats team.

“They never lost confidence. Even when they were missing shots,” Dildy said. “Northwestern is currently a top five Big Ten team, and once they become healthy there is no doubt they will be a top two team in their conference. They are clearly an NCAA Tournament team, so be ready to celebrate as the state of Illinois will have a representative in the NCAA Tournament.”

Looking ahead for the Wildcats, they will compete in the State Farm Chicago Legends Classic on Saturday against Dayton. The matchup will take place at the United Center with tip-off slated for 6 p.m.

Leave a Reply