It has been a while since we have done a Wildcat of the Week. My bad on that, I have been excessively lazy. We are already three weeks into the quarter and so Winter seasons are in full swing. With that, this week’s Wildcat of the Week is Reggie Hearn.
As I have perused comment sections on this site and others talking about Northwestern’s effort against Indiana, the adoration and respect for what Reggie Hearn has done is almost universal. Hearn, if you do not know, was a walk-on who earned a scholarship and then a spot in the starting lineup. Now he is one of Northwestern’s three best players with Drew Crawford out and someone the team needs to play well every night.
There is no way Hearn could have foreseen that coming when he decided to come to Northwestern.
Hearn scored 20 points in Northwestern’s 68-54 win over Illinois earlier this week and then came back for 22 points on 7-for-12 shooting against Indiana. These were both incredibly efficient performances and exactly what NU will need the rest of the year.
This week, Hearn shot 11 for 19 from the floor (57.9 percent) and 17 for 19 from the foul line. If you follow advanced stats, like me, Hearn posted a 65.8 percent effective field goal percentage and a 76.8 percent true shooting percentage. Scoring 42 points on just 19 shots in two games will do that.
Even though NU ended up splitting those two games, Hearn played superbly in both as did the entire team. Amazing what a week will do to change perceptions of a team.
Kendall Hackney, Women’s Basketball — Like the men’s team, the women’s team went to Illinois and scored a victory and then pushed a top-25 team to the brink. Hackney scored 18 points against then-No. 25 Michigan in that effort before Michigan pulled away at the end for the win. But at Illinois, Hackney helped Northwestern score a 62-58 victory and complete the men’s/women’s sweep in Champaign. Hackney had 21 points in that game to lead the Wildcats to the victory.
Spencer Wolfe, Men’s Tennis — Wolfe defeated 82nd-ranked Sebastian Stiefelmeyer of Louisville at No. 1 singles to help Northwestern to an easy 4-1 upset win over No. 34 Louisville. The Wildcats got some strong performances from Sidarth Balaji and Raleigh Smith at No. 2 doubles who held off two break points to win the match 8-6. From there, Northwestern took care of business in singles to secure the big win.
Van Donkersgoed, Men’s Swimming — Van Donkersgoed set a pool record at UW-Milwaukee by more than three seconds in the 200 breast as Northwestern defeated UW-Milwaukee. The Wildcats defeated the Panthers easily but also set four pool records on the weekend. The 200 medley team opened the dual with a pool record and then were quickly followed by Jordan Wilimovsky in the 1,000 freestyle, Uula Auren and Donkersgoed followed suit setting pool records in the 100 and 200 breast. Donkersgoed actually finished second in the 100 breast and broke the previous pool record as well.