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Northwestern coach Chris Collins was far more impressed with his team's 83-67 win Tuesday night against New Orleans than most casual fans were.
"People don't realize they're going to win a lot of basketball games this year," he said. "We were up against it, down nine with about 17 minutes to go, and I think we outscored them by about 25 the rest of the way. I thought we showed a lot of resolve."
All that being said, Collins would prefer his team have an easier time with their game on Thursday night when they host Fairleigh Dickinson at Evanston, Ill.
The Wildcats (3-0) showed balance, the ability to score off turnovers and decent depth in their latest nonconference win. Pete Nance led the attack with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Ty Berry canned five 3-pointers and scored 17 points, while Boo Buie added 13 points to go along with nine assists.
Northwestern turned 13 New Orleans turnovers into 25 points and sank a total of 11 3-pointers. The Wildcats also committed just seven turnovers.
Nance is averaging team highs of 17.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, while Buie is chipping in 16.3 points and 7.3 assists a night. Berry (12.3 ppg) and Ryan Young (10.7) are also scoring in double figures.
Meanwhile, Fairleigh Dickinson (0-1) hasn't played since absorbing a 93-49 beating on Nov. 9 at Seton Hall. The Knights were scheduled to play on Friday at Drexel, but the game was postponed due to mechanical issues with the FDU team bus.
Brandon Rush scored 19 points for the Knights, but they simply couldn't cope with a more physical, skilled opponent in Seton Hall that made some waves on Tuesday night when it upset No. 4 Michigan 67-65.
"We came out and hung with a very good team for a while and competed but we just never got many good looks at the basket," said FDU coach Greg Herenda. "Our team will grow from this game."
Northwestern thumped the Knights 80-53 on Nov. 18, 2012 in the schools' only previous matchup.
--Field Level Media