Jan. 17, 2011
Northwestern (11-5, 2-4 Big Ten) vs. Michigan (11-7, 1-4)
Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011
Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
Evanston, Ill. 8 p.m.
TV: Big Ten Network (Dave Revsine and Shon Morris)
Audio: WGN 720 AM and wgnradio.com (Dave Eanet and Tim Doyle)
Satellite Radio: Sirius 122 and XM 143
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
Tickets: Available at NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE
Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern plays its first of three home games over a six-day span Tuesday as it takes on Michigan at Welsh-Ryan Arena. The Wildcats also play a nonconference game against SIU-Edwardsville before hosting Wisconsin on Sunday.
After opening their Big Ten season with four of their first six games on the road, the 'Cats play four of their next five conference games at home.
NU is coming off a heart-breaking 71-67 overtime loss at Michigan State last Saturday. The contest featured 13 ties and 14 lead changes. Drew Crawford paced Northwestern with 16 points. Michael Thompson added 15 points and five assists and became the program's all-time leader in assists in the process.
Last season: Northwestern swept its season series with Michigan a year ago. The Wildcats won 68-62 Jan. 10 in Ann Arbor, rallying from a 17-point first-half deficit as Drew Crawford scored 25 points. NU won the rematch 67-52 Feb. 2 in Evanston as Crawford scored 17.
Shurna Selected to Wooden Award Midseason Top 30
The Wolverines (11-7, 1-4) are looking to bounce back from an 80-61 loss at Indiana last Saturday. Darius Morris paced Michigan with 22 points and seven assists.
Morris is first on the team with an average of 15.7 points per game and ranks fourth in the nation with a norm of 7.3 assists per contest.
John Beilein has a 57-60 record in four seasons as the head coach at Michigan. He has a career record of 608-378 in 33 overall seasons as a head coach.
is one of 30 individuals named to the midseason top 30 list for the Wooden Award which is presented to the nation's top college basketball player. He is one of six Big Ten players on the list, joining Purdue's E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson, Illinois' Demetri McCamey, Wisconsin's Jon Leuer and Ohio State's Jared Sullinger. Shurna was also named to the preseason watch list for the Naismith Award which is a similar honor.
Climbing the Charts
Senior point guard Michael Thompson currently has 1,377 career points, ranking him ninth in Northwestern history. He started the season in 21st place. The Chicago native also has 454 career assists, surpassing Patrick Baldwin (1991-94) for first place in school history Jan. 15 at Michigan State. Thompson became the second player in NU history to post 400 career assists when he reached the milestone Nov. 30 in a win over Georgia Tech. He also ranks second all-time at Northwestern with 220 3-point field goals.
It's a rare thing when Michael Thompson isn't on the court for Northwestern. On Jan. 12 at Iowa, he became the school's all-time leader in minutes played, surpassing Jim Stack (1979-83). Last season, Thompson ranked fourth in the nation with an average of 37.7 minutes played per game. His average of 36.9 minutes per game this season ranks second in the Big Ten. Thompson has started all 111 games during his career as a Wildcat.
For the second consecutive season, Northwestern started its campaign with at least nine wins in its first 11 games. A year ago, NU opened 10-1 en route to earning a No. 25 national ranking. Prior to last season, the Wildcats last posted nine wins in their first 11 contests in the 1993-94 campaign. This year's team matched last year's squad which also notched a school-record five wins (5-1) in the month of November. The 2010-11 'Cats finished the program's first undefeated November when playing at least three games.
Northwestern has long been known for its accurate 3-point shooting. The Wildcats rank 22nd in the nation with a .397 3-point percentage this season. NU is also eighth nationally with an average of 9.4 made 3-pointers per game. Individually, John Shurna is recognized by the NCAA as the nation's leader with a .545 3-point percentage. Shurna's 10-for-11 performance overall from the field in a win over Long Island Dec. 13 ranks as a tie for the second-best effort in program history.
Northwestern is well known for playing "team" offense and that's reflected in the statistics. The Wildcats lead the Big Ten and rank ninth in the nation with an average of 17.9 assists per game. NU's assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.60 (287 assists, 179 turnovers) is the nation's fifth-best mark. The 'Cats are also 16th nationally with an average of only 11.2 turnovers per game.
A year after shattering the school season record with 317 3-point makes, the Wildcats have picked up right where they left off. NU leads the Big Ten and is eighth nationally with an average of 9.4 3-point makes per game this season. John Shurna ranks fourth among all Big Ten players with an average of 2.6 triples per contest.
A year after leading the Big Ten in scoring during conference play, Northwestern is putting a number of points on the board again this year. The Wildcats currently rank second in the Big Ten with an average of 77.2 points per game. NU has scored over 90 points in a game five times this season, the most since the 1988-89 campaign when it also reached the mark five times. Northwestern had scored 90 points in a game just twice in Bill Carmody's first 10 seasons as head coach.
Scoring Spree, Part 2
Northwestern's 93-81 victory over Indiana Jan. 9 marked the team's most points in a Big Ten game since a 97-93 overtime win over No. 8 Michigan on March 12, 1994. Northwestern's 97 points in its season-opener at Northern Illinois Nov. 12 was its highest total in the 11-year Bill Carmody era and was its most since that same Michigan game. The Indiana win, coupled with a 90-71 victory at Iowa Jan. 12 marked NU's first time scoring at least 90 points in consecutive Big Ten games since Jan. 3 and 10, 1970 vs. Michigan (L, 96-92) and at Michigan State (L, 98-93), respectively.
Northwestern steps outside conference play Thursday as it hosts SIU-Edwardsville. Tip time is 5:30 p.m. as the game precedes a contest between the NU women's team and Michigan.
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