February 4, 1999
EVANSTON, Ill. - Led by All-America candidate Evan Eschmeyer's season high 29 points, the Northwestern men's basketball team ran past Michigan, 58-34, Thursday evening. Eschmeyer also grabbed 15 rebounds in the win.
Northwestern pulled ahead for good five minutes into the game on a David Newman three-pointer, and the 'Cats finished the first half up 30-22. Michigan scored a Welsh-Ryan Arena-low 12 points in the second half, and their 34-point total was their lowest since 1951. Northwestern's 24-point margin of victory was the Wildcats' largest over the Wolverines since 1953.
Eschmeyer made 15-of-19 from the line and also blocked two shots. Freshman point guard David Newman contributed nine points, all on three-pointers, and Steve Lepore pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists. Brandon Smith led the Wolverines with 10 points.
The 'Cats are in action next on Saturday, Feb. 6, at Penn State. Tipoff time is 11:15 a.m. CST and will be broadcast in the Chicagoland area on WBBM-Channel 2. Fans outside the Chicagoland area should check their local listings.
Northwestern Head Coach Kevin O'Neill:
On the win: I can't ask for a team to give a better effort defensively. We did a great job in the second half. We did a great job after 3 1/2 minutes in the second half. Esch was a man. Julian Bonner was a man.
On rebounding from the loss to Michigan State: We've got good senior leadership with Esch, Bonner and [Nate] Pomeday. We had three good days of practice after getting crushed at Michigan State.
On the team's recent success: We're virgins. We're breaking a lot of streaks here. We're in uncharted territory. Anytime you win a game in this league right now it's a huge win.
On postseason hopes: We never talk about it. We're never going to talk about it. The wins and losses take care of themselves.
On Penn State: They're the most underrated team in our league. They've had tough losses. They're very talented.
Michigan Head Coach Brian Ellerbe
On Kevin O'Neill: He's done a great job with this basketball team in a short time, and he's done a great job utilizing one of the best post players in the country.
On NU's defense: They played well on the defensive end tonight and it bothered us in a lot of ways. I thought our post guys played Evan solid. We needed to play better on the offensive end. Offensively we just weren't very good. Our zone was very good in the first half. But we wanted to give them different looks.
When asked if Eschmeyer is the Big Ten MVP: That's a difficult decision to make. It would be politically correct to say that both those guys [Eschmeyer and Minnesota's Quincy Lewis] get that award.