After losing its first game of the season at St. John’s, Northwestern will hope to start another winning streak when they host Mount Saint Mary’s. This is the Wildcats final game before starting Big Ten conference play when they travel to Purdue on New Year’s Eve. They will have one final Non-Conference game on January 20th when they host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.
The game against the Mount is kids day. Every adult paid admission will admit two children in eighth grade and under. A juggler will be present during the game and NU is offering a post-game meet the team and autograph session.
The Wildcats return home after suffering their first loss of the season on Tuesday night after losing in the Championship game of the Madison Square Holiday Festival.
Northwestern’s glaring weaknesses were exposed against the Red Storm. Before the season began, Northwestern’s rebounding and defense were cause for concern. St. John’s shot 80 percent in the second half and finished the game making 59 percent of their shots to earn the 85-69 win. The Wildcats were outscored 48-29 after halftime. The Johnnies out rebounded NU 32-26. Northwestern ranks 306th in the country on the boards.
Luka Mirkovic finished with 11 boards for the Wildcats. NU’s big three, John Shurna, Michael Thompson and Drew Crawford finished with 58 of Northwestern’s 69 points.
Shurna scored 28 points and added six rebounds, while Thompson finished with 13 and eight assists.
Mount St. Mary’s travels to Evanston with a 3-9 record. Robert Burke is in his first season on the Mount succeeding Milan Brown who left to take over the head coaching job at Holy Cross. They have good balance with four players averaging between 9.7 and 13.0 PPG.
Lamar Trice leads the team at 13.0 PPG and also contributes 4.0 RPG and 3.6 APG. The Mountaineers should be a good match-up for Northwestern. They rank 292nd in rebounding and 240th in the country in field gold percentage. This should be a good opportunity for the Wildcats to work on their rebounding and defense.
Look for a lot of 1-3-1 zone with a bit of the 2-3 mixed in. Carmody acknowledged that the defense has been struggling all-year and then added. “When we play the 1-3-1 and it is very effective for us, but we have known all along that we cannot play it for 35 minutes. We have been really working on our matchups. Like a 2-3 match-up , but it has not been effective”
With Big Ten play rapidly approaching, the Wildcats are going to have to improve in a hurry.