Wildcats escape Devils, improve to 2-0

By Nader Ihmoud

The Northwestern University Wildcats men’s basketball team needed 35 minutes to finally take control of the game and ultimately win against the Mississippi Valley State Devils on Nov. 15.

Although Drew Crawford scored as many points as he had fouls (4), a few of the senior forward’s teammates produced enough to lead the Wildcats to a 81-68 victory. Senior guard Reggie Hearn and forward Jared Swopshire, a graduate student, combined to score 55 of the team’s points.

Wildcats’ Head Coach Bill Carmody said his team allowed the Devils to keep the game close because of its inability to contain their prime player.

Guard Davon Usher erupted for 35 points and kept Mississippi Valley State within striking distance for a majority of the game by scoring on seven of his eight three-point attempts.

Hearn, who had the responsibility of guarding Usher, directed the blame to himself.

“It took me, unfortunately, 30 minutes to figure out that I needed to face guard [Usher], and make their other guys do the bulk of the scoring,” he said.

Hearn said half way through the second half he realized Usher had half of the Devils’ points and said it was “not a good feeling.”

Even though the Devils’ guard ended the game with more than half his team’s points the Wildcats were able to make a run late in the game to finally pull away.

“I’m just glad we came through in the last six minutes or so,” Carmody said. “I thought we were just a little tighter on everything we we’re doing. We weren’t shooting quickly. We were making them guard us a little better.”

Northwestern improved to 2-0 on the season, but Carmody said the team has a lot to improve upon.

“The guys don’t feel good about the win,” he said.

Carmody wants to continue to emphasize defense moving forward.

The Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights visit Welsh-Ryan Arena on Nov. 20 to face the Wildcats in their next game.