Feb. 16, 1998
Wildcats Look for Revenge
NWU Faces Illinois for Second This Season
Northwestern (9-13; 2-10 Big Ten) vs.
Illinois (18-8; 10-3 Big Ten)
Wed., Feb. 18, 1998 * 7 p.m.
Assembly Hall (16,450)
Radio: WGN Radio
TV: ESPN Plus
Scouting Northwestern: The Wildcats enter today's game with an 9-13 overall record and a 2-10 mark in Big Ten play. NU fell to Indiana, 73-55, in Bloomington on Saturday. All-America candidate Evan Eschmeyer posted his 16th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds. NU freshmen Sean Wink and Napoleon Harris chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively. Harris led the 'Cats in rebounding with 13 boards. The 'Cats fought back from a 13-point deficit (17-4), to pull within six points at the half (33-27). Led by Andrae Patterson's 18 second-half points, the Hoosiers took advantage of NU's tough shooting day and outscored the 'Cats 40-28 in the second period. NU held a 36-30 rebound advantage.
Eschmeyer leads the Big Ten Conference in overall scoring (22.1 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg) and is second in field goal percentage (.618). Wink, who leads the Big Ten in three-pointers made per game (3.27), is second on the NU team in scoring (12.4 ppg), while junior Julian Bonner is third in points per game (9.3 ppg) and first in assists (4.1 apg).
Scouting Illinois: The Fighting Illini enter tonight's game with an 18-8 overall record and a 10-3 mark in the Big Ten Conference. Illinois, which is tied with Purdue and Michigan State for the top spot in the conference, fell to the Boilermakers, 75-72, in West Lafayette on Saturday. Jerry Hester led all scorers with 27 points. Kevin Turner leads the Illini in points with a 17.7 ppg average. Hester is second in scoring (14.9 ppg) and leads the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg). Matt Heldman also averages in double figures for Illinois (11.2 ppg).
NU/Illinois, The Series: Tonight's game marks the 140th meeting between Northwestern and Illinois, with the Fighting Illini holding a 107-32 series lead. Illinois won the first matchup this season, 59-44, on Jan. 10 in Evanston. Julian Bonner led the 'Cats with 13 points, while Illinois' Jarrod Gee led all scorers with 20 points.
NU's Possible Starting Lineup
No. ppg rpg
5 Joe Harmsen (F, 6-9, Jr.) 4.4 3.5
13 Joe Branch (F, 6-3, Sr.) 2.4 3.2
42 Evan Eschmeyer (C, 6-11, Sr.) 22.1 11.2
4 Julian Bonner (G, 6-1, Jr.) 9.3 3.0
22 Sean Wink (G, 6-2, Fr.) 12.4 2.3
Off The Bench
No. ppg rpg
35 Aron Molnar (F, 6-11, So.) 4.7 2.9
31 Nate Pomeday (G, 6-2, Jr.) 3.4 1.2
23 Napoleon Harris (F, 6-4, Fr.) 3.1 4.4
32 Terence Avery (F, 6-9, Fr.) 2.1 1.2
44 Jeff Eschmeyer (F, 6-4, Fr.) 0.3 1.2
10 Matt Kammrath (G, 6-1, So.) 0.0 0.1
Illinois Series Notes
Series Record: UI leads, 107-32
First Meeting: 1908, Illinois won, 18-13
Last NU win in Champaign: 71-64, 1979
Last UI win in Champaign: 70-58, 1997
Current Series Streak: Illinois, six games