its just that the Wolverines fought just a little bit harder.
You can tell from the picture of Kevin Coble trying to make a shot - there were two Michigan sets of hands in there making it tough to score - or this one of Sterling Williams fighting for the ball, the Wolverines had come to play defense on the road and it would take an exceptional game by the Wildcats to pull off the upset win.
But the Cats shot a dismal 32% [15 of 50] from the floor and only 21% [5 of 24] from outside the arc for the game, and could only manage 19% in the 2nd half of play..
Even Tim Doyle's last second shot to tie the game at the half was almost wasted effort, as NU could not get the ball to go through the hoop. Doyle did turn out to be the leading scorer, shooting 5 of 8 with 3 FTs to finish with 13. Kevin Coble was only 1 of 5 from the arc, but hit 2 more from inside to finish with 10. Both he and Doyle had 5 rebounds, 4 of Doyle's were on the offensive end.
Doyle also finished with 5 assists on the afternoon. Craig Moore pulled down 5 rebounds, but was 1 of 7 from the arc.
Even so, Michigan shot 47% including 4 3-s and grabbed 38 rebounds. Frosh Reed Baker was the Wolves' leading scorer with 11, mainly on 3 of 7 from the arc and 2 freethrows.
After the game, Coach Bill Carmody was asked about the difference between the first and second halfBC: They defended us... and we missed shots,.Dave pointed out that even with Michigan's height advantage, the Cats were out-rebounding the Wolverines in the first half.
We just couldn't make any shots and it must have been their defense got better, it seemedBC: We just had a stretch there where we held them 3 or 4 times, but they got the rebound then they got a couple of 3 point plays out of that - I don't know if they just wore us down or became more aggressive but they really hurt us on the backboards in the 2nd half andKevin Coble [right] struggled a bit today but he seemed to look for his shot more today, Carmody was asked if this is just something frosh go through as they come into the Big 10...
We just didn't make shots - the second half, no shots were being made. I don't know what the 3 point shooting was but take away the last couple that Craig [Moore] took and Jason and we're still abysmal.
BC: I'm not too worried about it. I thought our offense ran so well in the first half we shouldn't have been tied.Carmody was asked if he was at all encouraged because the Cats didn't get blown out after losing badly Wednesday at Penn State...
Give them credit - they blocked about 4 or 5 things we executed pretty well, and had layups and we were pump faking and took them away from us - that's part of defense.BC: I'm not encouraged because we're at home.Next up are the Michigan State Spartans - always tough for Northwestern. Any special emphasis during practice this week?
I thought we controlled the game in the first half even though it was tied we got what we wanted. In the second half, their defense must have tightened up because we weren't getting the same looks and we had some layups in the first half and it just seemed like it was faster - moving more quickly
So, I don't know, I always think we should win at home. I don't care who we play.
BC: Every game in conference is rough and we go on the road its very rough. So Michigan State presents their own problems - just very well coached, they execute extremely well and its a very physical team, so we're trying to find a combination of guys there that can get on the backboards and still execute your stuff and get on to it hard and I don't know if we've found that.Jeremy Nash played more minutes today [Nash finished with 3 points, 2 steals and a rebound in 13 minutes] Can fans expect to see more playing time by him?BC: Yeah, He's a good player . He's not afraid to take shots, which I like, I just wish they'd go in. [Nash was 1 of 5] - he's doing OK.
-- are based on questions from Dave Eanet & Dave Kaplan and may have been edited for clarity.
Official Game Statistics from nusports.com
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