Feb. 6, 2009
NU Game Notes vs. Iowa (PDF)
EVANSTON, Ill. -
Winners of five of its last six games, Northwestern travels to Iowa on Saturday to face the Hawkeyes. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. It is the lone road game for the Wildcats during a stretch in which they are playing six out of seven at home. Big Ten Network is televising the contest with Wayne Larrivee and Shon Morris on the call.
The game can also be heard at 720 AM-WGN and online at wgnradio.com with Dave Eanet and Bob Hildebrand.
NU is coming off a 75-63 non-conference win over Chicago State at Welsh-Ryan Arena Wednesday evening. Craig Moore scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the first half while freshman John Shurna tallied 14 of his 18 points after the intermission. Shurna knocked down four straight 3-pointers in the opening three minutes of the second half to help extend a six-point half lead to 22 as NU went on a 21-6 run.
Series History: Iowa leads, 106-51.
Last Meeting: Northwestern trimmed a 13-point second-half deficit to one four times, but wasn't able to make it all the way back in falling 67-62 to Iowa March 4, 2008 in Evanston.
The Hawkeyes (12-11, 2-8) have dropped their last four contests and seven of their last eight, including a 68-60 decision at Indiana on Wednesday. Freshman guard Matt Gatens led Iowa with 22 points against the Hoosiers.
Gatens leads the team and is second among all Big Ten freshmen with an average of 11.3 points per game. He ranks first in the conference with a .473 (43-91) 3-point field goal percentage and a .915 (54-59) free throw percentage. Jeff Peterson contributes 10.4 points per contest.
Todd Lickliter has a 25-30 record in two seasons as the head coach at Iowa. He is 155-92 in eight overall seasons as a head coach, including six years at Butler.
Chicago State Game Notes
CSU guard David Holston entered the game ranked first in the nation with 4.8 made 3-pointers per game, but was held to 2-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc ... Chicago State shot 13.3 percent (2-15) from 3-point range, a season-low for a Northwestern opponent ... John Shurna scored 18 points in the game, his second-highest point total this season (20 vs. UMKC) and more than his previous eight games combined ... NU's 24 assists are a season-high, while its 12 3-pointers rank as a tie for its second-highest total this season ... Jeremy Nash's seven steals are the most by a Big Ten player in a game this season. It is the fourth time in the last seven games that Nash has recorded at least three steals.
Hot at Home
Northwestern's 11-2 home record so far this season is the team's best home mark through 13 games in Bill Carmody's nine seasons as head coach. The Wildcats started the 2003-04 and 2001-02 seasons 10-2 before dropping its 13th home game. The last time NU started a season with at least 11 wins in their first 13 "home" games was the 1982-83 campaign when it played its home contests at DePaul's Alumni Hall while Welsh-Ryan Arena was undergoing renovations. Northwestern is limiting its opponents to 41.2 percent shooting from the floor while forcing an average of 17.2 turnovers per game at home in 2008-09.
Sharing is Caring
The Wildcats shared the wealth in their Feb. 4 win over Chicago State, assisting on 24 of 27 made field goals. Of Northwestern's 465 made field goals this season, the team has assisted on 320 of them or 68.8 percent. That mark ranks third nationally.
Taking it Away
The Wildcats enter Saturday's game ranked first in the Big Ten in turnover margin at +4.45. That mark goes up to +5.33 in Big Ten games. Over a three-game span Jan. 15-21, all against ranked teams, the 'Cats forced Purdue into 22 miscues, Minnesota into 19 and Michigan State into 18. NU has turned its opponents over an average of 15.9 times per game this season, with five of its foes committing over 20 turnovers in a contest.
Protecting the Rock
Northwestern has handed out 320 assists while committing just 229 turnovers this year for an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.40. The mark ranks second in the Big Ten and eighth nationally in the category through games played Wednesday. The Wildcats ranked third in the country last season with a 1.43 team assist-to-turnover ratio.
Moore Where That Came From
Senior guard Craig Moore became the top 3-point shooter in school history against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Nov. 19, surpassing Vedran Vukusic's (2002-06) previous career record of 212. Moore then surpassed the NU career record for 3-point attempts previously held by Winston Blake (1999-2003) against Butler Nov. 26. He has an outstanding chance to finish in the top five in Big Ten history in both categories. His 280 career makes rank in seventh place in league annals and are three shy of A.J. Guyton of Indiana for sixth place. Moore leads the Big Ten with an average of 3.50 made 3-pointers per game this season. A year ago, Moore set a school single-season record with 97 made 3-pointers.
Current Consecutive Games With A Made
Three-Pointer (through games of 2/4/09)
1. Roge'r Guignard, Texas-Arlington - 52
2. Austin Kenon, Virginia Military - 38
3. Josh Akognon, Cal State Fullerton - 33
4. Craig Moore, Northwestern - 32
5. Talor Battle, Penn State - 28
Source: STATS, Inc.
The Wildcats have four days off from competition following Saturday's contest before they host No. 23 Illinois Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. with ESPN2 televising the game.