Jan. 6, 2009
NU Game Notes vs. Wisconsin (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Northwestern's challenging start to the Big Ten season continues Wednesday as it travels to conference leader Wisconsin. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center. Big Ten Network is televising the game live with Wayne Larrivee, Tim McCormick and Mike Hall on the call.
The contest can also be heard at 720 AM-WGN and online at wgnradio.com with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand.
Following a close loss at Penn State and another defeat at the hands of then-No. 10 Michigan State on Saturday, the Wildcats travel to face the reigning Big Ten champions. The contest against the Badgers precedes a matchup with preseason conference favorite and 14th-ranked Purdue, followed by a game against No. 22 Minnesota and then road games at No. 8 Michigan State and Michigan (receiving votes).
NU (8-4, 0-2 Big Ten) led the Spartans 33-32 at the half Saturday, but a 12-0 run to start the second half helped lead the visitors to a 77-66 victory. Kevin Coble led Northwestern with 17 points and Craig Moore contributed 16 while surpassing the 1,000 career-point plateau in the process. Michigan State's point total snapped a streak of 15 straight opponents held under 70 points by the 'Cats, the longest such mark in the nation.
Series History: Wisconsin leads, 106-60.
Last Meeting: No. 10 Wisconsin won the Big Ten regular season title outright with a 65-52 victory in Evanston March 8, 2008. Kevin Coble led Northwestern with 17 points.
The Badgers (11-3, 2-0) are tied for first place in the Big Ten with Michigan State and are coming off a tight 65-61 home win over Penn State on Saturday. Marcus Landry led Wisconsin with 23 points, while Joe Krabbenhoft added 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Landry, a preseason All-Big Ten selection, leads UW with an average of 13.1 points per game, while junior guard Trevon Hughes contributes 12.6 points per contest and is fourth in the conference with a .491 3-point percentage.
Bo Ryan is in his eighth season as the head coach of the Badgers and has a 184-63 record in Madison. He is 567-166 in 25 overall seasons as a head coach, including stints at UW-Milwaukee and Division III UW-Platteville.
Moore Reaches Scoring Milestone
Senior guard Craig Moore became the 27th player in Northwestern history to reach the 1,000-point plateau when he hit a 3-pointer with 2:58 remaining in the first half against Michigan State Jan. 3. He surpassed Rich Falk for 26th place on NU's scoring list in the process. Moore is the third-leading active scorer in the Big Ten behind only Jamelle Cornley of Penn State and Raymar Morgan of Michigan State. Meanwhile, junior forward Kevin Coble also has an excellent shot at reaching the milestone this year as he has 896 points. Both Moore and Coble were honorable mention All-Big Ten selections last season.
Not Far from Perfection
NU's four losses this season have come by an average of just 6.25 points. The teams the Wildcats have lost to--Butler, Stanford, Penn State and Michigan State--have a combined record of 46-7. Northwestern held second-half leads of 11 points on the road at both Butler and Penn State, led No. 10 Michigan State at the half and was down by one with under two minutes remaining at Stanford.
Seventy is Over the Limit
Michigan State's 77 points Jan. 3 snapped a streak of 15 consecutive opponents held under 70 points by Northwestern. It was the longest such streak in the country. The Wildcats lead the Big Ten in scoring defense and rank fifth in all of NCAA Division I entering play this week in the category, allowing an average of 55.5 points per game.
Michigan State Game Notes
The loss by Northwestern snapped a seven-game home winning streak to start the season ... Michigan State became just the second NU opponent to shoot over 45 percent in a game this season, connecting on 46.8 percent of their shots. Brown (62.2) is the only other Wildcat foe to best 45 percent ... Kevin Coble had a team season-high 4 steals in the contest, all in the first half ... Luka Mirkovic came off the bench to post collegiate bests of 9 points and 3 assists ... The Spartans' 77 points, 29 field goals, 62 field goal attempts and 47 rebounds are all highs for a Northwestern opponent this season ... The Wildcats' 29 3-points attempts are a season high ... NU committed just two first-half turnovers and only one over the final 16 minutes of play, but had five during the opening four minutes of the second half when Michigan State went on a 12-0 run.
The Wildcats take seven days off before returning to action at home against Purdue Jan. 15. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Welsh-Ryan Arena with ESPN2 televising the game live.