Northwestern Beats a Ranked Team: Box Score of the Day
CHN now features a live scoreboard, stats, standings, etc.. here. Occasionally, we'll be featuring a box score of the day, with some commentary on why the box score is interesting. It might be involve a huge upset, a big personal effort, some odd statistical occurrences, or other intriguing tidbit.
Box Score of the Day:
Today's pick is.. Northwestern's 74-65 win over Minnesota.
Due to a relatively weak slate of Sunday games, this is admittedly not the sexist Box of the Day. No record-breaking performances or epic upsets here. But anytime Northwestern beats a ranked team (let alone a Big Ten game in general), it's a big deal, at least for their 400 fans. This was the Wildcats first win over a ranked team in almost three years, after 18 losses against such teams. Despite that streak, I wouldn't really call this result an upset as the Gophers are over-ranked to begin with due to a soft schedule, and bound to drop multiple Big Ten road games.
Statistically, the numbers that stand out are Al Nolen's turnovers and the huge free throw disparity. Northwestern hit 21 FT's to just 5 for Minnesota, making up for the relatively even shooting and rebounding performances. For the freshman point guard Nolen, the 6 TO's are a new career high, and out of character for a guy gaining the reputation for taking care of the ball and putting up solid A/TO ratios.