Chicago Sun-Times
with Tina Akouris

Northwestern can't get same magic in Madison

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Wisconsin did it again.

The Badgers beat Northwestern at the Kohl Center in Madison 77-57 Wednesday night, extending Wisconsin's winning streak over the Wildcats in Madison to 14.

It was enough to make even the most die-hard NU fan cringe, as the Wildcats were down to only seven scholarship players and two walk-ons. Guard Alex Marcotullio (concussion) didn't even make the trip and guard JerShon Cobb (hip tendonitis) is still sitting out.

It was almost funny how coach Bill Carmody adressed that depth issue after the game. It seemed like he was talking directly to his detractors and those who have been critical of him as of late.

"I always play seven guys anyway," Carmody said. "People always bitch to me about that. I'm used to playing only seven, I just wish sometimes it was a different seven."

Even before the Michigan State game, Carmody acknowledged that John Shurna gets tired by the second half. Maybe that's a reason for his decreased production in that half? It happened again Wednesday night. Shurna scored 12 in the first half only to score seven in the second half. Carmody said he needs to give Shurna and Drew Crawford a break.

A defensive switch from man to zone at halftime -- where the Wildcats trailed only by two -- didn't seem to matter and it almost freed up Wisconsin's outside shooters. Badger point guard Jordan Taylor knocked down three consecutive three-pointers (and it seemed like no one was even guarding him) and -- just to be on the safe side -- Josh Gasser sank one, too. It was a big run that ended with Wisconsin leading 50-38 at the 15 minute mark.

And that was all NU wrote.

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Indeed, they were shorthanded, but Carmody's deserves some of the flak for not going deeper.I'm a big fan of Bill, and his deadpan approach that keeps the team loose. But In much the way Hearn has stepped up, there are guys like Nick Freundt (and Mike Capocci, Ivan Peljusic on previous teams) who are capable of putting up solid minutes, and for whatever reason, Carmody wouldn't turn to them. Hopefully, he's learned his lesson as you say, and he goes deeper, even when Marco and Cobb return back healthy.

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This page contains a single entry by Tina Akouris published on January 19, 2012 9:30 AM.

Alex Marcotullio stays home, JerShon Cobb to sit was the previous entry in this blog.

Vince Browne, Bryce McNaul to play in NFLPA game is the next entry in this blog.

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