Jan. 17, 2014
The Last Meeting
|No. 2/2 Indiana||67
January 20, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern's challenging month of January continues Saturday as it heads to Bloomington to take on reigning Big Ten regular-season champion Indiana. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. Central time.
The Wildcats are on track to face six ranked opponents this month which would tie a school record for ranked foes in a month. Northwestern has faced six ranked teams in January 1999 and January 2013.
Michigan State was NU's fourth ranked opponent in its first five Big Ten games on Wednesday and the Spartans pulled away late for a 54-40 win over the 'Cats. Tre Demps paced Northwestern with 12 points off the bench. NU limited the Spartans to 38.5 percent shooting but Michigan State finished the game on a 14-5 run to pull away.
Last Season: Indiana won the only meeting between the teams a year ago as the second-ranked Hoosiers held off the Wildcats, 67-59 Jan. 20 in Evanston. The teams have split their last four meetings in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers handed third-ranked Wisconsin its first loss of the season on Tuesday, defeating the Badgers 75-72 in Bloomington. Yogi Ferrell paced Indiana with 25 points.
Ferrell leads the Big Ten with an average of 17.9 points per game to go along with 4.2 assists per contest. Freshman Noah Vonleh ranks first in the conference with an average of 9.0 rebounds per game. Indiana ranks in the top five nationally with a +11.9 rebound margin.
Tom Crean is in his sixth season as the head coach at Indiana where he has a 96-87 record. He is 286-183 in 15 seasons overall as a head coach.
LOCKING DOWN ON DEFENSE
Northwestern's defense on limited Illinois to 28.1 percent shooting from the field in a victory Jan. 12. The mark was the lowest by a Northwestern Big Ten opponent since Penn State shot 27.1 percent in a 54-44 victory by the Wildcats in the Big Ten tournament on March 4, 1999. Illinois' 43 points were the fewest by an NU conference foe since Minnesota in a 55-40 loss to the 'Cats on Jan. 20, 2007. Northwestern's 49 points were its fewest in a Big Ten victory since a 40-39 win at Purdue Feb. 11, 2004. The Wildcats followed up the effort by holding fourth-ranked Michigan State to 38.5 percent shooting and a season-low 54 points.
Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,667 career points. The total ranks fifth in school history and is 16 points behind Michael Thompson (2008-11) for fourth place. The total ranks 15th nationally among all active Division I players. Crawford missed most of last season due to injury and returned to the Northwestern lineup with a vengeance in the season-opener against Eastern Illinois, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring a game-high 25 points. The point total was the highest by a Wildcat in a season-opener since John Shurna scored 31 in a victory at Northern Illinois Nov. 12, 2010. Crawford ranks 12th in the Big Ten in scoring (15.0 ppg) and sixth in rebounding (6.9 rpg).
Active Division I Players with 1,600 Career Points and 600 Career Rebounds
(through games played Jan. 16--courtesy STATS, Inc.)
Name (Team) - Points - Reb.
Doug McDermott (Creighton) - 2,644 - 966
DeAndre Kane (Iowa State) - 1,765 - 615
Cleveland Melvin (DePaul) - 1,757 - 698
Augustine Rubit (S. Alabama) - 1,688 - 1,067
Javon McCrea (Buffalo) - 1,688 - 827
Drew Crawford (Northwestern) - 1,673 - 625
Crawford's Northwestern Career Ranks:
Games Played: 3rd--128
Games Started: 3rd--127
Field Goal Attempts: 4th--1,366
Field Goals: 5th--602
3-Point Field Goals: 5th--207
3-Point Field Goal Attempts: 5th--578
Blocked Shots: 7th--88
Northwestern sophomore center Alex Olah has been extremely accurate from the field over the team's first five Big Ten games. Olah has shot a combined 22 for 37 (59.5 percent), including a 10-for-14 effort from the field vs. Wisconsin en route to a career-best 23-point performance. Overall this season, Olah ranks ninth in the conference, shooting 55.4 percent. As a freshman, Olah shot 41.5 percent from the field.
DEEP AND TALENTED BIG TEN
The strength of the Big Ten Conference is certainly evident when looking at the start of Northwestern's league slate. After opening up against No. 4/5 Wisconsin, the Wildcats traveled to defending national runner-up Michigan before heading to No. 20/23 Iowa. Following home games against No. 23 Illinois and No. 4/4 Michigan State, the Wildcats make the trek to reigning Big Ten regular-season champion Indiana this Saturday. The 'Cats are on pace to play six ranked teams this month, a mark that would tie the school record (Jan. 1999, Jan. 2013).
BOOST OFF THE BENCH
Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 10.1 points per game, including scoring in double figures 10 times. Demps posted a career-best 23-point performance against DePaul Dec. 27. The point total was the highest in a game by a Northwestern player off the bench since Cedric Neloms scored 25 vs. Ohio State on Feb. 10, 1993.
Big Ten Non-Starter Scoring Leaders
(through games played Jan. 16)
Name (Team) - Avg.
Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa) - 10.3
Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 10.1
Malik Smith (Minnesota) - 9.9
Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) - 9.9
Bryson Scott (Purdue) - 8.0
After sitting out all of last season, JerShon Cobb has been impressive in his return to the court. Cobb handed out a career-high eight assists in the Wildcats' season-opener vs. Eastern Illinois. He followed up the performance by scoring 19 points at Stanford Nov. 14 and then scored 19 again vs. Illinois State Nov. 17. Cobb's 11 free throws and 14 attempts against the Redbirds were both career highs. The 14 attempts were the most by a Northwestern player since Jitim Young had 15 vs. Michigan State on March 12, 2004. Cobb also posted a career-best 12 rebounds in a win at UIC Nov. 20 and knocked down the game-winning shot with 2.3 seconds remaining in a 63-61 win over IUPUI Nov. 22. His 22 points vs. Missouri Nov. 28 and again the following day vs. UCLA were two shy of his career high achieved vs. Minnesota on March 8, 2012.
HITTING THE GLASS
Redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin has been an effective rebounder so far this season. His average of 5.3 rebounds per game ranks second among all Big Ten freshmen, trailing only Indiana's Noah Vonleh (9.0 rpg). Lumpkin notched his first career double-figure rebounding game on Nov. 17 vs. Illinois State. His 11 rebounds were the most by an NU freshman since Drew Crawford had 12 in an NIT game at Rhode Island March 17, 2010. He followed it up with 10 boards at UIC, which coupled with 10 points gave him his first collegiate double-double. Lumpkin is the first NU player with double-figure rebounds in consecutive games since Crawford vs. Purdue (10) and at Rhode Island March 12 and 17 of 2010. A second double-double followed for Lumpkin against Mississippi Valley State Dec. 16, posting 13 points and 10 boards. Lumpkin is the first NU freshman to post 10+ rebounds in three or more games since Evan Eschmeyer had four during the 1995-96 season.
Northwestern plays another team from the state of Indiana on Tuesday as it hosts Purdue at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.
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