Indiana Hoosiers vs. Northwestern Wildcats Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 18th 2024

Northwestern entered the weekend as one of three schools with an unbeaten home record in Big Ten play.

The Wildcats’ 1-6 mark in conference road games, however, is far less sterling. It’s something the team is aiming to improve upon as it battles for positioning in the Big Ten tournament and a possible NCAA Tournament berth.

Northwestern (17-8, 8-6 Big Ten) gets its next chance with Sunday’s visit to Indiana (14-10, 6-7) in Bloomington, Ind.

“We’ve got to step up and be ready,” Wildcats coach Chris Collins said. “We’ve got to dig down on the road especially and find ways to get close wins when we get to that point.”

The Wildcats have played competitively on the road since a 30-point defeat at then-No. 9 Illinois on Jan. 2, including overtime losses at then-No. 2 Purdue and Minnesota.

Boo Buie kept Northwestern close on Thursday at Rutgers, leading all scorers with 27 points, but the Wildcats’ 63-60 loss ultimately hinged on struggles to build depth behind him. Ty Berry is out for the season with a knee injury and Ryan Langborg was ejected midway through the first half following a Flagrant 2 foul.

Sophomore Nick Martinelli has shown steadiness after joining the starting lineup in the wake of Berry’s injury, Collins said.

Indiana can attest to adjusting to life without key contributors.

Hoosiers point guard Xavier Johnson remains out indefinitely with an elbow injury.

Two players charged with greater ballhandling responsibilities in Johnson’s absence, CJ Gunn and Trey Galloway, clicked for Indiana in its 79-59 loss at Purdue on Sunday.

Gunn scored a career-high 13 points while Galloway chipped in 10 points and seven assists. The Hoosiers held an early lead and were within a basket of the Boilermakers midway through the first half before fading, missing 10 of 11 shots during one stretch.

“We haven’t been able to just put 40-minute ballgames together like we have in the past,” Hoosiers coach Mike Woodson said. “And that’s been some of the frustration. But again, for me as a coach, I’ve just got to continue to teach. We’ve got to continue to work and put the guys in the best position possible to win.”

–Field Level Media

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