Three games into a seven-game tour of Canada and Bill Coen’s Northeastern Huskies are still undefeated.
Reggie Spencer led a balanced attack on Sunday with 14 points and seven rebounds as the Huskies beat McGill University 80-66 in Montreal.
Spencer and Joel Smith combined to score 25 points off the bench for the Huskies, who play the University of Ottawa on Monday night, and Quincy Ford added ten points to lead the starters.
Northeasters controlled play in the first and fourth quarters, holding the Redmen below the ten-point mark in each of those periods.
For the game McGill shot just 35.3% from the field and 9-for-29 from beyond the arc, and Northeastern was able to force them into committing 21 turnovers.
“Obviously we’ve got some things to work on but I was pleased with our progress today and it was great competition for us,” said Coen in a post-game interview with McGill communications officer Earl Zuckerman.
“McGill made a great run at us and you got to expect that if you are… playing on the road. That the home team is going to make a run at you. I was proud of our guys the way we were able to withstand that run and come back with a run of our own to push the game to our favor.”
Northeastern outscored the Redmen 44-22 in the paint and the bench held a 43-23 advantage thanks in large part to Spencer and Smith, but McGill did account for 17 second chance points and out-rebounded the Huskies 45-40.
Northeastern is a young team heading into the 2012-13 campaign, with just two seniors and two juniors (Saint Francis (PA) transfer Scott Eatherton has to sit out this season) available, so this trip will give them valuable on-court experience.
In a CAA that will be without VCU (Atlantic 10) and Georgia State, ODU, Towson and UNCW all ineligible for the league’s automatic bid, there’s an opportunity for the Huskies to make a move despite Drexel being the team pegged by many to win the league.
The Huskies return their top four scorers from last season, but the key for Northeastern will be how well they control the defensive glass (11th in the CAA in opponents’ offensive rebounding percentage) and take care of the basketball (11th in turnovers per game).