Northwestern did what it should in a nonconference game, flying by Fairleigh Dickinson 80-53 at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Senior guard Reggie Hearn started strong, posting 14 first-half points. He was rewarded with rest for most of the second half. In total, 13 Wildcats saw minutes while 11 factored in the scoring. NU had great success on defense, holding the Knights to 37.1 percent from the field and just 14 points in the first stanza.
"I was pleased today," said Northwestern coach Bill Carmody. "I thought we defended, which was good. And Reggie, I gave him a hard time the other night but that kid's a good player."
Following a rough performance in Thursday's win over Mississippi Valley State, freshman center Alex Olah was moping, at least according to his head coach.
"I told him, let's get rid of that night," said Carmody. "Because he didn't play too well."
Olah returned to form against Fairleigh Dickinson, posting 10 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes of action.
Kale Abrahamson and Alex Marcotullio each added nine points while Drew Crawford and Dave Sobolewski chipped in with eight points.
It wasn't all perfect for the Wildcats as forward Nikola Cerina suffered an ankle injury. It was the TCU transfer's debut with Northwestern. The extent of his injury is unknown.
"I hope it's not a severe sprain or whatever it was, because he needs some minutes so he can get back in the swing of things," Carmody said.
Northwestern closes out its homestand on Tuesday when it meets Delaware State, then travels to Texas for the South Padres Island Invitational. Though it's early in the season, Carmody sees several positives about his Cat team.
"I like the energy level," Carmody said. "I think they're all determined to contribute. You can see, it's not a five- or six-man rotation. We have guys there where if a guy's not feeling it for a certain day, you can get him out and get someone else some minutes."