Feb. 14, 2012
Northwestern (15-9, 5-7 Big Ten) at Indiana (19-6, 7-6 Big Ten)
Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012
Assembly Hall (17,472)
Bloomington, Ind. 5:30 p.m. CT
TV: Big Ten Network (Tom Hart and Eddie Johnson)
Audio: WGN 720 AM and wgnradio.com (Dave Eanet and Tim Doyle)
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
Northwestern Game Notes (PDF)
Skip Myslenski Game Preview
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern looks to continue its recent dominance over Indiana on Wednesday as the teams square off in Bloomington. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. Central time from Assembly Hall.
The Wildcats have won six of the last seven meetings between the schools, including four by double digits and two of the last three in Bloomington.
NU is looking to bounce back from an 87-77 loss at Purdue on Sunday. The defeat snapped the Wildcats' three-game winning streak. John Shurna
scored a game-high 30 points in the contest, including 21 over the final eight minutes of the game. Northwestern came up short despite shooting 59.4 percent from the field (19-32) in the second half.
Wednesday's contest features the top two 3-point shooting teams in the Big Ten. Indiana leads the conference with a .436 3-point field goal percentage, while NU is second at .386 and first with a norm of 9.0 makes per game.
Northwestern swept the season series from Indiana a year ago, posting a 93-81 win Jan. 9 in Evanston and a 70-64 victory Feb. 19 in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers (19-6, 7-6 Big Ten) have been off since posting an 84-71 home win over Illinois last Thursday. Big Ten Freshman of the Week Cody Zeller led Indiana with 22 points.
Zeller paces the team with averages of 15.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He leads the Big Ten with a .648 field goal percentage.
Indiana leads the Big Ten in scoring offense (78.7 ppg), field goal percentage (.496) and 3-point field goal percentage (.436).
Tom Crean is in his fourth season as the head coach at Indiana where he has a 47-72 record. He is 237-168 in 13 seasons overall as a head coach.
RIDING A HOT STREAK
Northwestern has beeing getting the job done on the offensive end over its last four games (3-1). During that span, the Wildcats are averaging 79.5 points per game while shooting 52.5 percent from the field, including 45.5 percent from 3-point range. Four different NU players are averaging at least 14 points per game during the stretch: John Shurna (24.8), Dave Sobolewski (16.0), Reggie Hearn (15.3) and Drew Crawford (14.8).
BACK IN BLACK
The Wildcats have donned alternate black uniforms twice so far this season and have come away with victories both times. NU first wore the uniforms at home Jan. 14 against No. 6 Michigan State and the 'Cats posted an 81-74 upset victory. Northwestern wore them again on the road Feb. 5 at Illinois and earned a 74-70 win.
STEPPING IN AND STEPPING UP
With key returners JerShon Cobb, Alex Marcotullio and Drew Crawford battling early-season injuries, junior guard/forward Reggie Hearn got the starting nod in NU's season-opener and hasn't relinquished the spot since. The former walk-on scored a career-high 20 points Feb. 5 in a road win at Illinois. Hearn went 7-for-8 from the field in the contest, including making all six tries during his 16-point first-half performance. He followed it up by scoring 16 points in a win over Iowa Feb. 9 and again at Purdue Feb 12. For the season, he is averaging 7.5 points per game while shooting a team-best 52.6 percent from the field, including 42.9 percent from 3-point range. Hearn is being feature in this weekend's episode of "The Journey" on Big Ten Network.
SHOOTING FOR THE TOP
Northwestern's scoring record of 1,900 career points has stood since 1977 when Billy McKinney completed his collegiate eligibility. John Shurna is currently in second place on NU's career scoring list with 1,855 career points. He surpassed Evan Eschmeyer for second place Feb. 5 with a 24-point performance in a victory at Illinois. Shurna scored a school single-season record 619 points as a sophomore and 531 points last season as a junior. He is the active Big Ten career leader with 39 games of scoring 20 or more points. Shurna has scored at least 30 points in a game three times this season, the most by a Northwestern player since Eschmeyer posted at least 30 points five times during the 1997-98 campaign.
Nation's Scoring Leaders from BCS Conferences (through 2/12)
Name, Team - Avg.
1. Terrell Stoglin, Maryland - 21.6
2. Kevin Jones, West Virginia - 20.6
3. John Shurna, Northwestern - 19.9
4. J'Covan Brown, Texas - 19.8
5. John Jenkins, Vanderbilt - 19.5
WILDCATS IN THE RPI RANKINGS
Northwestern is ranked No. 44 nationally in the RPI through games played Sunday. Northwestern has top-50 wins over Michigan State (4), Seton Hall (31) and Illinois (46). NU has the sixth-best RPI in the Big Ten, trailing Michigan State, Ohio State (10), Michigan (14), Indiana (15) and Wisconsin (24).
Northwestern enters Wednesday's game with a 5-7 Big Ten record, but isn't far away from being much better. The 'Cats have lost three of their league games by a total of five points, falling to Illinois at home by one as well as at Michigan and at home vs. Purdue by two apiece.
Northwestern is well known for playing "team" offense and that's reflected in the statistics. The Wildcats rank first in the nation with a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio this season. NU ranked second nationally to only Wisconsin with a 1.70 mark a year ago. NU ranks third in the country with an average of just 10.1 turnovers per contest. Northwestern is assisting on 65.5 percent of its made field goals, the sixth-highest percentage nationally.
We're not sure which one is Batman and which one is Robin, but senior John Shurna and junior Drew Crawford have already shown that they form a pretty formidable 1-2 punch. Shurna leads the Big Ten with an average of 19.9 points per game, while Crawford is the Big Ten's fourth-leading scorer with a norm of 16.8 points per contest.
Northwestern returns to action Saturday as it hosts Minnesota at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Big Ten Network is providing live television coverage.
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