....and both Northwestern fans were in attendance to see it.
ISU lost the game due to bad free throw shooting, going only 9 of 15. The reason why it was close to begin with was a lack of an offensive game plan from the coaching staff. McDermott and his staff got outcoached in this one.
Credit goes to Northwestern. They played a great game against ISU. Northwestern was able to slow down the tempo of the game, and forced ISU to run their halfcourt offense, which is pretty fucking weak at this point.
Northwestern closed the 2nd half strong, and it baffles me how badly ISU plays half court offense. Northwestern smartly threw in some man-to-man, after ISU was eating up the zone, and it totally threw ISU for a loop. This is 2 games in a row that ISU has had no great answer against the man-to-man defense. I guess ISU was just lucky Northwestern didn't play man-to-man the whole game.
Tonight, we looked like last year's team. Taking ill-advised three pointers, committing stupid fouls, and playing some bad defense the last few possessions (we gave Northwestern too many easy lay-ins near the basket, due to guys losing track of their man).
ISU fans want to talk all about the athleticism on this team, but two mid-major style schools slowed us down quite a bit. There's no reason that this team shouldn't be playing better, and shame on the coaching staff for failing to come up with a gameplan outside of jacking 3s with hands in the players faces.
Honestly, McDermott ought to be embarrased of himself. The past two games, he has managed to take a team with offensive weapons and made them look like your run of the mill Valley team. I know we're missing a contributor in Dendy, but still. The guys that are out there are more athletic than Northwestern. Brackins and Gilstrap alone should be eating teams like this up. The fact we have no answer against man-to-man, and the fact we took two 30 second timeouts in a row in the final minute were silly. Had we 1 timeout left, ISU may have been able to get a shot off with 1.5 seconds left, instead of heaving a prayer.
Losing 1 game isn't the end of the world, and I thought it would be a close one. I just hate watching us let a game slip away like this. It feels like the Hawaii game last year, except worse, because most of the fans there were ISU fans! It wasn't a big crowd, but it was more like an ISU home game than a Northwestern one from the looks and sounds of the crowd.
Props goes out to John Shurna on Northwestern. He dropped 23 points, schooled Brackins and Christopherson when they guarded him, and came up with a big block against Gilstrap. Northwestern played some really good team defense and that won them the game.
I expect much more from this team. I hope they learn from this and come out executing much better... And I'm not just talking about the players.