Taphorn scores 18 as Northwestern beats New Orleans
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Nathan Taphorn has a bigger role for Northwestern after injuries have limited the Wildcats' depth.
The senior forward came off the bench and showed what he can do on offense Sunday night against New Orleans - and maybe even surprised some people.
Taphorn grabbed a rebound and dunked it for a 19-point lead before halftime as the crowd cheered.
''Guys were telling me they didn't know I had it in me,'' Taphorn said.
Taphorn scored a career-high 18 points as Northwestern routed New Orleans 83-49.
Wildcats coach Chris Collins said the team has witnessed Taphorn's athleticism in practice.
''He can be a real weapon for us coming off the bench,'' Collins said. ''We almost won the Notre Dame game because of him. He's a big part of what we're doing, especially now we're down a couple guys.''
Scottie Lindsey added 16 points, Gavin Skelly 14 and Vic Law 11 for the Wildcats (7-2), who led by as much as 41 and have won four straight.
Erik Thomas had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Travin Thibodeaux added 10 points for New Orleans (4-4), whose three-game winning streak was snapped.
Northwestern shot 44 percent from the field to the Privateers' 37 percent, including 3 for 12 from beyond the arc.
Taphorn went 7 for 11 from the field - including 3 for 7 on 3s. He also had 12 points and five points in a 70-66 loss to No. 23 Notre Dame.
''It's a big booster,'' Taphorn said about his confidence. ''It shouldn't be the case - every game should be the game I come out knowing I'm confident and able to do this and able to do that and make an impact on the game and for my team. Going into the next game, seeing the ball go in really helps, as it would with anybody.''
The Wildcats made 9 of 25 3-pointers and scored 23 points off New Orleans' 21 turnovers.
''You can't win any games when you turn the ball over at the rate we did,'' New Orleans coach Mark Slessinger said.
After the Privateers scored the first two points of the second half, the Wildcats went on a 22-0 run to command a 65-24 lead.
The Wildcats led 43-22 at halftime after shooting 46 percent from the field to New Orleans' 32 percent.
''We didn't execute offensively and didn't play well at all in any facet,'' Slessinger said.
Northwestern sophomore forward Aaron Falzon underwent season-ending knee surgery after he played just 20 minutes in three games this season. He is expected to seek a medical redshirt and would have three seasons of eligibility remaining. Falzon averaged 8.4 points and 3.4 rebounds in 32 games last season. He also made 63 3-pointers, second-most in program history by a freshman.
Taphorn will help replace Falzon, Collins said.
The team is also without center Dererk Pardon, who is expected to miss the rest of the non-conference schedule after undergoing hand surgery.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Northwestern's bench outscored New Orleans' reserves 41-10.
New Orleans was coming off a 70-54 victory at Washington State. Half of the Privateers' victories have been against non-Division I foes, LaGrange College and Florida College.
Northwestern improved to 6-0 at home. The Wildcats are in the middle of playing eight straight games in the Chicago area before beginning Big Ten play on Dec. 27 at Penn State.
New Orleans will host Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday.
Northwestern will face visiting Chicago State on Wednesday.
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|33.1||Min. Per Game||33.1|
|12.9||Pts. Per Game||12.9|
|4.6||Ast. Per Game||4.6|
|2.0||Reb. Per Game||2.0|
|48.3||Field Goal %||39.1|
|0.0||Three Point %||25.0|
|62.5||Free Throw %||90.0|
|Defensive rebound by Barret Benson||5.0|
|Bryson Robinson missed layup||7.0|
|Field Goals||18-49 (36.7%)||27-61 (44.3%)|
|3-Pointers||3-12 (25.0%)||9-25 (36.0%)|
|Free Throws||10-19 (52.6%)||20-24 (83.3%)|