The Northwestern Wildcats had a good start to the first half in their last game against the Fairfield Stags, but they didn't have a good start against the Columbia Lions on Friday night.
Columbia on fire early on
The first possession of the game for the Lions produced a corner three by Alex Rosenburg, one of the top shooters on this Columbia team. They shot very well to start the game as they started out shooting around 60% from deep. They also forced three Northwestern turnovers and built a 17-5 lead with seven minutes gone in the game.
Northwestern gets back into it
As Northwestern were trying to cut the deficit to single digits, Chris Collins opted to move from man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone. It looked like a tactical error as it would open shots for Columbia's shooters. That seemed to be confirmed by the first possession after the switch to the zone, which resulted in a Columbia three. However, the zone worked to perfection as Northwestern were able to go on a 11-0 run. Led by Bryant McIntosh, the Wildcats were able to come back and tie the game at 26. Columbia came back with a run of their own and took a seven point lead at 35-28. It was a solid first half outing by Columbia, which was more impressive given that it was on the road against a Big Ten team.
Northwestern were able to stop the bleeding at the start of the second half as they were able to cut the lead to four. They were led by McIntosh, who was having the game of his career. However, Columbia started to pull away as Maodo Lo began to take over the game. He began finding his shot and later found Luke Petrasek in transition for the slam which stretched the lead back to double digits. Every time the Wildcats looked as if they were going to make a comeback, Columbia came back with a clutch score to keep the lead at double digits.
Northwestern gear up for incredible comeback
With five minutes left in the game, Northwestern looked dead in the water as they trailed by nine. But McIntosh once again led the team back. He scored many of his career high 26 points in the final three minutes to try and bring Northwestern back. Aaron Falzon, who struggled for most of the game, hit a clutch three to cut the deficit to three points and the crowd in Evanston were feeling a comeback.
Down two with less than a minute left, Northwestern put the game in their best players hands. Bryant McIntosh’s pull-up jumper tied the game at 74. Then, Northwestern were able to get a stop but a jumpshot by Tre Demps fell just short and the game headed into overtime.
The first few minutes of the overtime was a foul fest as most of each team's points came from the free throw line. However, Tre Demps hit a three with around a minute left to give Northwestern a four point lead and it looked like the game was over for Columbia. They had a chance to tie the game with 2.8 seconds left. But, Rosenburg lost the ball and time ran out as Northwestern completed the comeback and won in overtime.