With Point Guard T.J. Parker and Shooting Guard Mohamed Hachad in supporting roles. Parker dished out 5 assists, and Hachad pulled down 6 rebounds to go with his 9 points and 4 steals, but 41 points came from the 2 Cats leading scorers again tonight.
NU soph Forward Vedran Vukusic scored 23 and NU Senior Guard/Small Forward Jitim Young added another 18 in the Wildcat win. Vukusic went into half-time a perfect 4 for 4 from the field, 3 for 3 from the arc. He cooled off a bit in the 2nd half but was still perfect from the line [8-8].
Overall the Cats shot 42.6% from the floor, 30.4% from the arc and 80% from the line.
For the Hoosiers, Soph Guard Bracey Wright overcame some early dismal shooting to hit 17 points. Freshman forward Pat Ewing Jr. was dominating off the boards with 12 rebounds. Guard Marshall Strickland added 14 points, including 3 - 3 pointers. The Cats were also outrebounded by Indy 43-24.
But the most important thing?
You know we made our foul shots at the end.Mr. Wildcat, WGN's Dave Eanet noted that the Defense, led early by Parker and Mohamed Hachad [AP Photo-Brian Kersey left], again set the tone....
Indiana just didn't quit. It looked like the game was over there for a while, and they just hung in there and hung in there , made the big plays and we were fortunate, our guys knocked down some shots -- foul shots when they had to, so we win.
The got the ball inside on us and there were some open looks for those guys down there, but it seemed like we were scrapping and stripping guys, coming up with steals -- got the energy going.WGN's David Kaplan asked about the pace of the game early...
That's real important to this team, when we do that we get our offense some looks down there -- I was pleased all around.
Whatever the reason is at home most teams run better, they just have that feeling, we're just trying because we got a lot of little guys out there, they should be running pretty fast.What about Vedran Vukusic [29 minutes] -- he was out for a while, but then he came back and didn't miss a step...
He played very well tonight, he knocked down some shots, posted some guys, I thought he did a very nice job.It seemed like it was a very physical game -- with bodies flying around all night...
He's got a bad back -- he's had it for about 10 days and I guess he got wacked there and so that's what kept him down for a few minutes.
I thought both teams played very hard and they killed us on the backboards again [24-43], in a winning game when you get out rebounded in excess of 20 rebounds, you're fortunate, but I think we got some pretty good shots, pretty good looks.How important was getting back above .500 with 3 games left?
I wasn't that pleased with our end game there, we could have used a little more time, and milked it a little bit., shot like at 22 seconds, things like that, but I just keep telling myself, you got a bunch of sophomores out there, they'll get better.
Its nice...I don't think since I've been here, we have been at this stage. We're just trying to enjoy this, I always say enjoy this one for a little bit, then about 2 O'Clock this morning get out those Illinois tapes and go to work.
So its down to Champaign to take on the red hot Illinois Hoosiers, Saturday at 1:30 PM on ESPN Regional.
the WGN Post Game Show
with Dave Eanet & David Kaplan,
and may be edited for clarity
Beat 'em All!
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