Northwestern Wildcats Archive

Film Session: Northwestern

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While Indiana’s 10:06 scoring drought was the lead storyline from its loss to Northwestern on Wednesday evening, its atrocious defense wasn’t far behind. It was especially bad in the first half, as the Hoosiers allowed the Wildcats — who entered the game with the league’s 8th best offense — to post 1.41 points per possession.

Indiana switching from man to zone often left Wildcats completely unaccounted for or with more space than they had just seconds before, while other times IU’s defenders made some head-scratching decisions or showed little effort.

We’ll take a look at six of Indiana’s defensive lapses from the first half in the latest edition of Film Session:

James Blackmon Jr. holds up “2”, as do some of the Hoosiers on the bench. Indiana will switch defenses mid-possession and sink back into a 2-3 zone:

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Blackmon Jr. initially has the left wing locked down:

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As he heads back down to the baseline,  Dave Sobolewski takes a ball screen from Nathan Taphorn:

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Hoosiers struggle dealing with “rut” in 72-65 loss at Northwestern

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Indiana found itself in an unfamiliar position on Wednesday night in Evanston, Ill.

With their shots not falling in the second half — whether it be layups, jumpers, 3-pointers and even free throws — the Hoosiers were forced to play through their longest rut of the season against a surging Northwestern squad.

This rut — a scoreless drought from the 13:23 mark to the 3:17 mark of the second half — was far too much for Indiana to overcome. By the time the final buzzer sounded, the Hoosiers left Welsh-Ryan Arena with a 72-65 loss, their sixth in nine games on the road this season.

“The one thing we have got to learn is when the shots are not falling, you define how good a team you are going to be by still finding a way to win when it’s not there,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “And that’s where the defense, the rebounding, the stops, all those things come into it. And we’ve had some of that. Tonight we didn’t have that.”

Wednesday’s game was a story of two halves. The result was just overwhelmingly decided in the second.

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Five takeaways from Indiana’s loss to Northwestern

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EVANSTON, Ill. – Indiana lost its sixth Big Ten road game on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena, falling to the Northwestern Wildcats, 72-65.

The loss dropped the Hoosiers to 19-10 overall and 9-7 in conference play. Here’s a look at five takeaways from the loss:

· Indiana played with a lack of urgency defensively for the first 36 minutes: It’s late February and Indiana’s defense, or lack thereof, remains a major issue. Northwestern entered Thursday’s contest with the Big Ten’s eighth best offense at 1.01 points per possession. The Wildcats finished their win over the Hoosiers at 1.24 points per trip, their best output yet in conference play.

Indiana’s defensive struggles were the primary reason that a hot shooting start in the first half went to waste. The Hoosiers hit 9-of-14 3s in the game’s first 20 minutes and had just three turnovers, but went into the locker room tied at 40. Had Indiana put up any resistance, it could have held a comfortable halftime cushion. The defensive issues were countless as the Wildcats shot an effective field goal percentage of 60.3 and grabbed 60 percent of their misses before intermission.

It wasn’t until late in the contest when Indiana picked up the defensive pressure that it was able to gain any traction and knock Northwestern off track offensively, but it was too little, too late.

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The Minute After: Northwestern

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Thoughts on a 72-65 loss to the Wildcats:

EVANSTON, Ill. – The 3-pointers stopped falling. Indiana’s energy started to sag. And when Vic Law and Yogi Ferrell got tied up at the 13:53 mark in the second half and exchanged some words after the fact with the Wildcats up three (49-46), Northwestern’s contingent of Welsh-Ryan Arena started to roar.

The momentum began to swing the Wildcat Way, and Indiana fell into an awful offensive drought. After an even 40-40 first half where both teams blazed out of the gate at 1.41 points per possession each and played little defense, Troy Williams hit a lay-up at the 13:23 mark to pull the Hoosiers within one at 49-48.

But from there it was clank after clank after clank. Indiana failed to record a point for the next 10:06 of the game until Williams hit a jumper in the paint at the 3:17 mark. Indiana tried to rally from there, scoring 17 of its 25 second half points over that final 3:17. A press, one Tom Crean said in his post-game remarks in hindsight he could have started sooner, helped a little. But the 12-point hole it had dug itself was just too big.

“The same shots we were making with ease in the first half, we were missing in the second half,” Tom Crean said in his post-game press conference. “The same looks.”

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Video: Tom Crean reacts to loss to Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. – Tom Crean met with the media following Indiana’s 72-65 loss to Northwestern on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Watch the full press conference below:

Video: IU players react to loss to Northwestern

EVANSTON, Ill. – Nick Zeisloft (12 points and five rebounds) and Troy Williams (21 points and 14 rebounds) met with the media following Indiana’s 72-65 loss to Northwestern at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Watch their postgame comments below:

Video: Chris Collins reacts to win over Indiana

EVANSTON, Ill. – Chris Collins met with the media following Northwestern’s 72-65 win over Indiana on Wednesday night at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

Watch the full press conference below:

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