Northwestern coach Chris Collins is trying just about everything to get his reeling team back on track.
The Wildcats (6-10, 3-9 Big Ten) will try to snap a nine-game losing streak when they host Indiana on Wednesday in Evanston, Ill. (Northwestern vs. Indiana, Wednesday, February 10, 4:15pm, WGN Radio 720 and our digital streams https://wgnradio.com/on-air/.)
Northwestern has been more competitive of late but hasn’t been able to build off a 3-0 start in conference play. The most recent win for the Wildcats came on Dec. 26, 71-70 at home over Ohio State. Northwestern’s past three losses have been by an average margin of 5.3 points.
On Saturday, Collins went with a starting lineup change, replacing Boo Buie and Robbie Beran with Ryan Young and Anthony Gaines, but the Wildcats lost 75-70 at No. 24 Purdue.
“Obviously a lot of frustration trying to get in that win column, but I thought there were some steps forward,” Collins said. “I’m not a big moral victory guy, but I really felt like we fought with great energy.”
Turnovers hurt the Wildcats in the loss to Purdue, as the Boilermakers scored 18 points off 15 Northwestern turnovers.
“That’s not a recipe for success for us, to be a high-turnover team,” Collins said. “We’re a team that needs to be under 10 turnovers and give ourselves a chance offensively to have good possessions.”
Indiana (10-8, 5-6) is looking to build on its 67-65 upset of No. 8 Iowa on Sunday and avenge a 74-67 loss to Northwestern on Dec. 23. Northwestern burned Indiana from the 3-point line, going 7 of 19 (36.8 percent).
“We know Northwestern is a good team,” Indiana coach Archie Miller said on his radio show Monday night. “We’re going to have to be really, really ready, and we’re going to have to be a lot better than we were the first time to have a chance to play against them in their building.”
Race Thompson has played well for the Hoosiers in the past three games, averaging 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. Trayce Jackson-Davis has seven doubles-doubles for Indiana and leads the Hoosiers in scoring (19.9 points per game), rebounding (9.2) and blocked shots (1.8).
“I think he can actually play better, as crazy as it sounds,” Miller said of Jackson-Davis. “Every game on film, you look at the stat sheet he gets 17 (points) and 12 (rebounds), you watch that film and say, ‘Man, he could have had 30, he could have had 25.’ You are always in that mode of wanting him to do more. So we’ll keep pushing him. He keeps working.”
–Field Level Media