Feb. 15, 2014
The Last Meeting
February 1, 2014
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern goes in search of a season sweep of Minnesota on Sunday as the teams square off at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.
A victory by the Wildcats would mark the team's first regular season sweep of the Golden Gophers since the 2005-06 season. NU has won six of the last 10 meetings between the teams dating back to the 2009-10 campaign and has won the last five matchups in Evanston.
Northwestern is looking to get back on track after suffering an 85-70 defeat at No. 9/10 Minnesota on Thursday. JerShon Cobb matched a season high with 22 points while Drew Crawford and Tre Demps added 18 apiece.
Sunday is Alumni Day for Northwestern as players from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s are slated to be in attendance.
Last Meeting: Northwestern notched a 55-54 victory Feb. 1 in Minneapolis. A 3-pointer by Tre Demps with 55 seconds remaining broke a 52-52 tie. Drew Crawford led all scorers with 17 points.
The Golden Gophers dropped a 78-70 decision at Wisconsin on Thursday despite a game-high 22 points from Andre Hollins.
Andre Hollins leads the team with an average of 15.2 points per game. DeAndre Mathieu contributes 11.7 points and 4.4 assists per game.
Minnesota leads the Big Ten with an average of 8.0 steals per game, led by Austin Hollins average of 2.0 per contest.
Richard Pitino is in his first season as the head coach at Minnesota. He has a career record of 34-23 in two seasons overall as a head coach.
CRAWFORD TOPS NU RECORDBOOK
When Drew Crawford got the starting nod against Iowa Jan. 25 he became Northwestern's career leader in both games played and games started. Crawford's 133 games played to date surpassed the previous record of 130 held by John Shurna (2009-12), while his 132 starts bested the previous mark of 129 held by Michael Thompson (2008-11).
Crawford's Northwestern Career Ranks:
Games Played: 1st--135
Games Started: 1st--134
Field Goals: 3rd--652
Field Goal Attempts: 3rd--1,475
3-Point Field Goals: 4th--218
3-Point Field Goal Attempts: 5th--614
Blocked Shots: 6th--94
LOCKING DOWN ON DEFENSE
Northwestern's defense has keyed the teams revival. During that span dating back to Jan. 12, the Wildcats have held their foes to a combined 34.2 percent shooting. 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 Spartans. Wisconsin's .263 field goal percentage Jan. 29 was its fourth-lowest in Bo Ryan's 13 seasons as head coach and its second-lowest in a home game (.222 vs. North Dakota State, 1/21/06). Over the last 30 years, this is the first time that Northwestern has held four Big Ten opponents (Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, Wisconsin) below 30 percent shooting in a game.
CRAWFORD EARNS WEEKLY HONORS
Drew Crawford earned multiple honors for his efforts in Northwestern's victories at Wisconsin and Minnesota. After averaging 23.5 points and 6.5 points per game while shooting 66.7 percent (16-24) from the field, Crawford was named the USBWA's Oscar Robertson National Player of the Week, Athlon Sports National Player of the Week and Big Ten Co-Player of the Week. He is the second Big Ten player this season to earn the USBWA's recognition, joining Michigan's Nik Stauskas.
Northwestern has already racked up a number of impressive Big Ten road wins in some places where it's difficult to succeed. The 'Cats posted a 54-47 victory at Indiana's hallowed Assembly Hall Jan. 18 before notching a 65-56 win at Wisconsin's Kohl Center Jan. 29. The Badgers' home loss was just their 20th in Bo Ryan's 13 seasons at the helm, including only the 13th by a Big Ten team. UW had been 68-4 vs. unranked league foes under Ryan. The 'Cats followed up the win in Madison with a 55-54 victory at Minnesota three days later, NU's first win in Minneapolis since 2007.
Drew Crawford is the Big Ten's active leading scorer with 1,807 career points. The total ranks third in school history and is 93 points shy of Billy McKinney (1974-77) for second place. Crawford ranks 15th nationally among all active Division I players. His 30-point performance at Wisconsin Jan. 29 marked a season high and was the highest point total by a Big Ten player at Kohl Center since Shannon Brown of Michigan State scored 31 on Jan. 8, 2006. Crawford ranks eighth in the Big Ten in scoring (16.2 ppg) and fifth in rebounding (6.7 rpg). He is the only Big Ten player to rank in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.
Active Division I Players with 1,700+ Points, 600+ Rebounds, 200+ 3-Point Field Goals
Name (Team) - Pts. - Reb. - 3-pt FG
Doug McDermott (Creighton) - 2,824 - 1,013 - 237
Torrey Craig (USC Upstate) - 2,003 - 903 - 285
Drew Crawford (Northwestern) - 1,807 - 668 - 218
Redshirt sophomore guard Tre Demps stepped up when the Wildcats needed him in each of their Big Ten victories. With the game tied and seven minutes remaining against Illinois Jan. 12, Demps nailed three consecutive 3-pointers during a 9-2 run that led the 'Cats to the win. Six days later, NU trailed Indiana by three with seven minutes to go when Demps scored the Wildcats' next 13 points during a 13-4 run that keyed another victory. Against Purdue on Jan. 21, Demps scored 11 of his 19 points in the final 3:11 of regulation or the two overtime sessions, including hitting game-tying 3-pointers with 3:11 to go in the second half and 1:36 to go in the first OT. He tallied seven of his 10 points during a decisive 30-9 second-half run that turned a six-point deficit into a 15-point lead at Wisconsin Jan. 29. Three days later with the game at Minnesota tied 52-52, Demps' 3-pointer with 55 seconds remaining were the decisive points in a 55-54 NU victory.
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 10.8 points per game, including scoring in double figures 16 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.
Major Conference Scoring Leaders Among Players Who Have Not Made a Start This Season
(courtesy STATS Inc.--through games Feb. 13)
Name (Team) - Avg.
Ian Miller (Florida State) - 12.7
Jason Calliste (Oregon) - 12.4
Tre Demps (Northwestern) - 10.8
Zach LaVine (UCLA) - 10.8
TURNING IT AROUND
Northwestern's 36-point turnaround (-27, +9) between games with Wisconsin marks the Wildcats' largest turnaround between losing the first meeting of the season and winning the second since a 39-point change vs. Illinois (-28, +11) in 1994. The change vs. Wisconsin is the fifth-largest in NU's favor in school history but the largest in which the 'Cats lost the first meeting at home then won on the road.
Largest Season Turnarounds in School History
49 vs. Michigan, 1977 (-37, +12)
43 vs. Michigan State, 1952 (-33, +10)
39 vs. Iowa, 1985 (-19, +20)
39 vs. Illinois, 1994 (-28, +11)
36 vs. Wisconsin, 2014 (-27, +9)
DUO NAMED ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT
Graduate student Drew Crawford and junior Dave Sobolewski were both honored Jan. 30 by being named CoSIDA Academic All-District selections. By virtue of the recognition, they are eligibile for Academic All-America honors. The All-District selection is the second for Crawford in his career. He also earned the honor in 2012 when he went on to be named to the Academic All-America Second Team. Crawford earned his bachelor's degree in economics and is currently working toward his master's in sports administration. Sobolewski is an economics major.
Northwestern heads back out on the road next Wednesday as it travels to Ohio State. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Central time with Big Ten Network providing live television coverage.
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