The goals for tonight's game were simple: no injuries, plenty of playing time for the reserves, and 100 points for the first time under Bill Carmody. I guess two out of three ain't bad, as there were no injuries and the bench played a ton (Shurna didn't even dress and none of the other four starters played more than 20 minutes), but sadly,NU fell just short of the 100-point barrier, as Carmody ordered the walk-ons to dribble out the clock on the final two possessions, to the chagrin of what few Wildcat fans remained. I watched all the way to the end in hopes of seeing 100, and found myself very disappointed.
Aside from that, the game went about as expected; Pomeroy's prediction of a 94-55 NU win was just about perfect. SIUE kept it relatively close for the first 10 minutes, as NU was giving about 50% effort on defense, but once they stopped goofing around, a 21-17 lead quickly turned into 55-22 before SIUE banked in a 3 at the first half buzzer.
It was quite the balanced attack for NU on offense, as they had 5 players in double figures and 3 more who finished with 9 points. NU shot 58% from the field, went 11 for 23 on threes, and 15 for 18 from the line, and pretty much got whatever they wanted on offense. Player bullets:
• Drew Crawford led NU with 16 points in 16 minutes, and scored with incredible ease driving to the basket; he could have scored a lay-up on every NU possession had he been so inclined.
• Luka Mirkovic had 15 points in just 11 minutes, making all 4 of his field goals (including a three), and all 6 of his free throws. Luka has been improving at the line throughout the season, hopefully he wont regress back to his old form.
• Mike Capocci filled up the box score with 9 points, a career-high-tying 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. He did, however, commit three turnovers, all of them coming when he tried to dribble the ball through traffic at mid-court. Stop that please Mike.
• The scrubs were pretty dominant. Reggie Hearn had 10 points, Ivan Peljusic and Nick Fruendt both had 9, and Fruendt somehow managed 4 steals. Austin Nichols was the only NU played who didn't score, as he missed two threes and a front end in his 10 minutes. The NU bench was imploring Nichols to get on the board at the end, and he had a chance to pull up for a 12 foot jumper with about a minute left, but instead passed it to a cutting Peljusic for a lay-up. Way to be unselfish Austin.
Ok, there's only so much I can write about a game that felt more like an exhibition than the actual exhibition game NU played vs. Robert Morris (and I now see SIU Edwardsville plays Robert Morris in a few weeks; SIUE will get blown out). Too bad we didn't get 100 though; maybe it will come Sunday in a thrilling quintuple overtime win over Wisconsin.
Oh, I almost forgot. SoP commenter WestsideBrandon did the color for the BTN.com broadcast, and did an excellent job, seriously. I've listened to plenty of student announcers this season on various BTN.com broadcasts, and I have to say that Brandon is definitely one of if not the best student color commentator I've heard. So nice job bro, and be glad you did do a good job, as I would have been more than willing to spend two-thirds of this recap making fun of you had you sucked.