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    Rejuvenated Wildcats Host Boilermakers Tuesday

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM Alex Olah recorded a career-best six blocked shots against Indiana on Saturday.
    Alex Olah recorded a career-best six blocked shots against Indiana on Saturday.

    Jan. 20, 2014

     Northwestern (9-10, 2-4) vs. Purdue (13-5, 3-2)
     Date  Tuesday, Jan. 21 | 8 p.m.
     Location  Welsh-Ryan Arena  | Evanston, Ill.
     Watch  BTN and BTN2Go (Dave Revsine and Seth Davis)
     Listen  WGN 720 and (Dave Eanet and David Kaplan); 89.3 FM WNUR
     Live Stats  Gametracker
     Tickets  Available at
     Social Media  @NUMensBball   |  Facebook
     Game Notes  Northwestern | Purdue

    Skip Myslenski's Preview

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern looks to continue its recent solid play Tuesday as it hosts Purdue at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.

    The Wildcats have won two of their last three contests, defeating No. 23 Illinois Jan. 12 before going on the road to top Indiana Jan. 18.

    In the 54-47 win over the Hoosiers last Saturday, Drew Crawford posted 17 points and 12 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season while Tre Demps scored 13 consecutive points for the team late in regulation, turning a three-point deficit into a six-point lead. NU held Indiana to 25.0 percent shooting in the contest.

    When he takes the court Tuesday, Crawford is set to tie John Shurna for the Northwestern career record for games played (130) while matching Michael Thompson for the most career starts (129).

    Last Season: The two teams split their season series a year ago. Northwestern won 75-60 Feb. 2 in Evanston before Purdue won 74-43 Feb. 24 in West Lafayette. The Boilermakers hold a slim 11-9 series edge over the last 20 meetings dating back to 2002.

    • The Boilermakers edged visiting Penn State 65-64 Saturday night as A.J. Hammons made a free throw with 1.1 seconds remaining. Terone Johnson paced Purdue with 14 points.
    • Johnson lead the team with an average of 13.4 points per game. Hammons contributes a team-best 6.9 rebounds per contest while leading the Big Ten with an average of 3.5 blocked shots per game.
    • Matt Painter is in his ninth season as the head coach at Purdue where he has a 189-100 record. He is 214-105 in 10 seasons overall as a head coach.

    Northwestern's defense over the last three games has been nothing short of outstanding. In those three contests vs. Illinois, Michigan State and Indiana, the Wildcats have held their foes to a combined 30.1 percent shooting (53-176). Indiana shot just 25.0 percent (15-60) in NU's 54-47 win Jan. 18. The mark was the lowest by a Northwestern Big Ten opponent since Michigan shot 22.2 percent in a 58-34 victory by the Wildcats on Feb. 4, 1999. Illinois' 43 points on Jan. 12 were the fewest by an NU conference foe since Minnesota in a 55-40 loss to the 'Cats on Jan. 20, 2007. Michigan State's 54 points on Jan. 15 were a season-low for the fourth-ranked Spartans. It is the first time since 2004 (Wisconsin (51), Feb. 7; Purdue (39), Feb. 11; Penn State (52), Feb. 14) that NU has held three straight league foes under 55 points.

    Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,690 career points. The total ranks fourth in school history after he surpassed Michael Thompson (2008-11) Jan. 18 vs. Indiana. Crawford 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 (15.1 ppg) and sixth in rebounding (7.2 rpg).

    Active Division I Players with 1,600+ Points, 600+ Rebounds, 200+ 3-Point Field Goals
    Name (Team) - Pts. - Reb. - 3-pt FG

    Doug McDermott (Creighton) - 2,665 - 973 - 221
    Drew Crawford (NU) - 1,690 - 637 - 207

    Crawford's Northwestern Career Ranks:
    Games Played: 2nd--129
    Games Started: 2nd--128
    Field Goal Attempts: 3rd--1,381
    Points: 4th­--1,690
    Field Goals: 5th--609
    3-Point Field Goals: 5th--207
    3-Point Field Goal Attempts: 5th--580
    Blocked Shots: 7th­--89

    Redshirt sophomore guard Tre Demps stepped up when the Wildcats needed him in wins over No. 23 Illinois Jan. 12 and Indiana Jan. 18. With the game tied and seven minutes remaining against the Illini, Demps nailed three consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-2 run that led the 'Cats to the win. Six days later, NU trailed the Hoosiers by three with seven minutes to go when Demps scored the Wildcats' next 13 points during a 13-4 run that keyed another victory.

    The Wildcats' win at Indiana on Jan. 18 may be surprising to some, but the victory actually followed a recent trend. The win was NU's seventh in the last 10 meetings between the schools going back to the 2008-09 season. Over that span, Northwestern has won three of five contests at Assembly Hall in Bloomington.

    Tuesday's contest is a reunion for NU's Sanjay Lumpkin and JerShon Cobb and Purdue's Ronnie Johnson. The trio were on a 10-member team that played five exhibition games in Belgium last August. The Global Sports Academy team went undefeated and was coached by Northwestern assistant Pat Baldwin.

    Northwestern center Alex Olah has improved his accuracy from the field as a sophomore. Olah ranks ninth in the Big Ten, shooting 52.9 percent. His top offensive performance came against Wisconsin Jan. 2 when he went 10-for-14 from the field vs. Wisconsin en route to scoring a career-best 23points. As a freshman, Olah shot 41.5 percent from the field.

    Tre Demps has provided Northwestern with some scoring punch off the bench so far this season. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 10.3 points per game, including scoring in double figures 11 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. 19)
    Name (Team) - Avg.

    Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 10.3
    Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa) - 9.9
    Deverell Biggs (Nebraska) - 9.9
    Malik Smith (Minnesota) - 9.6
    Sam Thompson (Ohio State) - 7.8

    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 made the trek to reigning Big Ten regular-season champion Indiana. The 'Cats are on track to play six ranked teams this month, a mark that would tie the school record (Jan. 1999, Jan. 2013).

    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.

    Redshirt freshman Sanjay Lumpkin has been an effective rebounder so far this season. His average of 5.1 rebounds per game ranks second among all Big Ten freshmen, trailing only Indiana's Noah Vonleh (9.2 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.

    Head coach Chris Collins hit the ground running in terms of recruiting in his first season with the Wildcats. Northwestern inked four individuals during November's early signing period with the class currently ranking No. 25 nationally according to The class is headlined by forward Vic Law (South Holland, Ill./St. Rita), ranked as the No. 66 national recruit by as well as a nominee for the McDonald's All-American Game. Law is rated as a four-star recruit, as is guard Bryant McIntosh (Greensburg, Ind./Greensburg). The other signees to date include forward Gavin Skelly (Westlake, Ohio/Westlake) and guard Scottie Lindsey (Oak Park, Ill./Fenwick), both rated three-star recruits.

    UP NEXT...
    Northwestern wraps up its season series with Iowa on Saturday as the teams meet up at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 11 a.m.


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