Both the men's and women's basketball teams have started the season off hot, each starting the season 2-0. The men's team took on the Brown Bears of Brown University Monday night while the women's team defeated Hampton University on Sunday.
At Friday’s home opener, the freshmen took center stage. On Monday, it was the veterans’ turn.
Senior JerShon Cobb scored 16 points, nine from behind the arc, and Sanjay Lumpkin grabbed a double-double as Northwestern defeated the Bears 69-56 and improved to a perfect 2-0 on the season.
Freshman guard Bryant McIntosh got the ‘Cats started before handing it off to upperclassmen. Cobb followed with a three, and after Brown evened the score, Lumpkin added his own deep shot. Neutralized in the opener, Lumpkin leapt off the bench to make his mark. Five points in 53 seconds, and the ‘Cats were up 13-6.
Freshman Vic Law’s dunk and a three from freshman Scottie Lindsey gave Northwestern a 19-9 lead seven minutes in. The Brown Bears reeled off five unanswered, but they couldn’t claw their way any closer. The ‘Cats held a 36-26 lead at half and would go up by as much as 20 with six minutes to play.
Size was scarce for the ‘Cats. 7-foot-1 Alex Olah and the 6-foot-7 Law spent most of the game on the bench, fending off foul trouble. Lumpkin picked up most of the slack in the paint, scoring a career high 15 points. Lindsey and Demps combined for 21 points off the bench. Senior Dave Sobolewski added a three on his only shot of the night.
Ball handling was the primary problem for the ‘Cats, as McIntosh exposed his raw-ness while flashing the potential that made him a top recruit. He collected five assists but coughed it up five times. Northwestern turned the ball over 15 times.
Freshman Leland King drilled 17 points and collected five off the board to lead the charge for the Brown Bears, who are now 1-1 on the year.
Two in the books, the ‘Cats will fly home and look to improve to 3-0 against North Florida on Thursday.
Still flying from their explosive 104-point opener against Chicago State, Northwestern rolled through Hampton's Lady Pirates Sunday, taking a 27-10 lead at half and improving to 2-0 with a 62-36 victory.
Sophomore Nia Coffey led the Wildcats with 18 points and 12 rebounds. The former All-Big Ten Freshman of the Year is averaging 17.5 ponts and 8 rebounds through the ‘Cats first two games.
But, it was the defense that played the largest part Sunday, holding Hampton to 14.1 percent shooting from the field. The 'Cats will play their next game Friday, when they host Kent State at Welsh-Ryan.