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Northwestern men's basketball looking for third straight win in six days

Northwestern basketball hoping for third straight win
Northwestern basketball hoping for third straight win 01:34

EVANSTON, Ill. (CBS) -- The Northwestern Wildcats men's basketball team returned from an eight-day hiatus due to COVID to win back-to-back games against Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Next up, they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday at Welsh Ryan Arena in Evanston. It will be their third game in six days.

"Our guys have remained really focused. I think as a staff, in this stretch, we're trying to do the best we can to minimize how much their workload is between games; making sure they have fresh bodies, fresh minds; yet having the preparation to play against these kinds of teams," said Northwestern Head Men's Basketball Coach Chris Collis. "Hopefully, the crowd will be out in full force tomorrow."

The 'Cats are currently alone in third in the Big Ten, at 5-3 in conference play. A big reason for that is their defense, which is also third in the Big Ten allowing under 62 points a game.

Senior Chase Audige has been a major part of that. He is fifth in the nation - averaging almost three steals a game - and was just named as one of 15 players on the Naismith defensive player of the year watch list.

"Definitely a huge blessing. I had no idea that list was going to be coming out. My mom actually sent it to me. I don't really check social media. My mom sent me that in the morning, and I was like, wow, that's crazy," Audige said. "But I think it's a testament to the team. I'm obviously not the only person out there defending. We have such a team-oriented type of defensive scheme. It just allows everybody to be more aggressive and, you know, do what they're good at."

"Defense leads to our offense, so I mean, our coach tells us all the time – if we're in the right spots, the opponent will sometimes just give you the ball. So we really feed off of our defense and each other's activity to help lead into our offense."

The Northwestern-Minnesota game starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

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