(Evanston) It was a tough, tough night for the Northwestern Wildcats as the sloppy game got physical, as shots didn’t fall, and ultimately, a 75-64 loss to the Butler Bulldogs, two years removed from their trip to the Big Dance in Houston.
A victory on Saturday would have given the Cats at least eight wins through their first 10 games for the fifth consecutive season.
But it was not meant to be. As Butler Coach Brad Stephens explained “I thought Northwestern had the upper hand physically the first eight minutes of this game. We got much better during the last 32. ”
Northwestern coach Bill Carmody agreed. “It was a very physical game. Hard-scoring. It’s tough when we lose.”
Scoring seesawed through much of the first half. Dave Sobolewski, the big sophomore guard out of Naperville”s Benet Academy, scored more than half the points for the Wildcats for a quarter and a half, going 6 for 11 in field goals, 2 for 6 in three-point attempts, and 7 for 8 in free throws for a total of 21 points. Until the last 10 minutes of the game, he had half the Wildcats’ point total.
And yet, he was gracious to the teammates who for all intents and purposes, let him down. “I have no problem with anything anyone did out there tonight,outside of shots falling.”he said.
It was a stunning letdown for a team that had scored a big 74-70 win at Baylor on Wednesday night.