Chicago, IL– Northwestern and Illinois were the two victors at the State Farm Chicago Legends Classic. In the first game Northwestern used a strong first half to get past the Dayton Flyers with a 67-64 win.
Northwestern opened the game on an 11-0 run and used that hot start to take a 40-17 lead going into halftime led by 6-3 junior, Bryant McIntosh. McIntosh is a crafty point guard, who plays with extremely good poise. It’s very hard to speed him up or get him off his rhythm. He’s a good shooter, with a pure release and a very capable passer. McIntosh finished the game with 13 points, five assists and four rebounds. McIntosh was aided by his backcourt mate, Scottie Lindsey, a 6-5 junior with a good touch from the perimeter. He finished the game with 11 points, and four rebounds, going 2-of-4 from the three. Also, senior forward Sanjay Lumpkin played a huge role in the win with 14 points and 14 rebounds. At 6-6, Lumpkin is a do it all forward who can guard any position on the court. His strength and versatility allowed him to come up big down the stretch for NW, whether it was a big rebound or a clutch basket.
After a struggle offensively in the first half, Dayton used defensive intensity to ignite its offense in the second half. With increased energy on both ends of the court in the second half, Dayton was able to force NW into eight turnovers. Their man-to-man press led to a 13-1 run, sparked by two back to back threes by the Flyers 6-8 sophomore forward, Xeyrius Williams. That cut the lead to eight with just 5:20 left on the clock. Dayton got as close as three points with 9.2 seconds left, but McIntosh sealed the game with two clutch free throws with 7.8 seconds remaining.
Dayton was led by its senior guard, Scoochie Smith. Smith is a 6-2 combo guard, who can score both at the rim and beyond the three-point arc. He’s very aggressive in transition and attacking the basket. He also showed good hands, and quick feet in Dayton’s man to man press. He finished the game with 18 points and six steals going 2-of-4 from three and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Smith received help from fellow senior guard, Charles Cooke, a 6-5 wing who also plays well on both ends of the court. He has a strong, solid frame that allowed him to attach the basket and play through contact. Cooke finished the game with 12 points.
Northwestern next welcomes IUPUI, Tuesday, December 20th, while the Flyers hosts Vanderbilt, Wednesday, December 21st.
In the second game the Illinois Fighting Illini got past the BYU Cougars 75-73.
After a struggle, defensively in the first half BYU used a defensive adjustment to cut their 16-point deficit down to six by the end of the half. The Fighting Illini used its penetration, and sharing of the ball to put BYU’s defense totally out of sync. Illinois finished with five players in double figures, led by graduate point guard 6-2 Tracy Abrams, who found his offensive game in the second half. Abrams showed the ability to play with poise, and knock down huge three point shots. He finished the game with a team high 15 points, along with for assists, and four rebounds. Abrams was assisted by 6-3 guard, Jalen Coleman-Lands. Coleman-Lands is a scoring combo guard, who can play both on and off the ball. He has a smooth shooting stroke, and gets good lift which makes his shot hard to block. He finished the game with 12 points and five rebounds going 4-of-10 from the three-point line. Senior center Maverick Morgan also chipped in with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Morgan is a 6-10, hard nose center who plays extremely hard. He converted on 7-of-10 shots around the basket, and showed the ability to rebound out of his area.
The BYU Cougars were led by its star sophomore forward, Eric Mika, a 6’10, skilled power forward who can really score around the basket. He overcame first half foul trouble to end the game with a game high 25 points and eight rebounds. Mika plays with good patience, and uses his exceptional touch to make it look easy around the basket. The Cougars also received help from 6-2 sophomore, Nick Emery, who has an aggressive scoring mindset. He used his smooth lefty jump shot, and play making abilities to create opportunities for his teammates and himself. Emery finished the game with 16 points and for assists.
Emery’s half court heave fell short at the buzzer as the Fighting Illini was able to seal the win. BYU welcomes Idaho State Tuesday, December 20th while the Fighting Illini host Missouri on Wednesday, December 21st.
This article was written by Keith Smith, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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